Saturday, August 23, 2008

{tender...}

i have never written him a {tender} letter in my adult years to tell him how much love he fills me with.....


the other night i kissed his sweet forehead repeatedly, trying to inhale the downy he always smells of, taking in that soft sweet skin and at the same time squeezing his hand and telling him i love him. i hope he knows in those moments we shared, likely our last, how much his love has made me better....

always in his dapper hat when he goes out. i love seeing him around town with his hat on or more excitedly when he would come to visit. i loved the feather that was always sure to adorn a plaid going out hat..... it was his signature.


every part of me feels tender today....

i hope he knows that i loved his garden. snatching up rhubarb on a sunday evening visit, doused in sugar always made my summer complete. picking the peas, digging for potatoes and pulling carrots, devouring the tomatoes - all the best part of going to grandpas. sitting on the patio with him in his usual lounge chair, right at the helm of the action.

sleep overs were of particular excitement. surely all of the stops were pulled out. most routinely we would stop by the bank to withdraw money and he would give us a calendar from the bank. then, off to the store to buy the goods for the special days. usually a toy of choice and a treat. the mornings were filled with routine and pancakes made by grandma, buttered with pure granulated sugar and then rolled. it was the best, mom didn't let us do that at home....
on special occasions they would bring out the movie projector and we would look at slides of my dads mischievous childhood. always loved hearing those recollections, each time getting better and more exciting. we could almost always finish the story of when dad and his brothers made an army submarine out of the shed and had to call grandpa mr. m as punishment.

he loved his norma...

i only ever knew a retired grandpa and grandma. always together and really, i loved mornings at their house. the smells, the routines. the sun shone so perfectly in that kitchen. i knew every treat drawer, every sundae dish and every cupboard and its contents. we loved to scope out the cedar chest grandma won and i loved finding the locks of her childhood pony tail and finding the picture to match. tell us the story we would always ask...

forever etched in my mind is grandpas art table in the all purpose room in the basement. his beautiful sketches and paintings of western scenes and horses.

his tricks were the best part. always teasing us that he lost his 2 fingers deep in his nose, too much picking he told us. {he really lost his fingers as a kid in the washing machine} his false teeth would always come out at just the right time to gather giggles for a year. he would run, run, run and run after us leaving every visit, trying to outrun the car. every visit would entail us begging, pleading with him, please grandpa pete, please chase our car when we leave. grandma norma scolding, no pete, you're going to get hurt chasing the car like that. we knew grandpa would do it anyway, although he would pretend he wasn't going to to keep grandma happy, then...
just as we would pull away- off he went, we could always see grandma's arms fly up in the air and see her yelling at him, then dad would step on the gas and we would fall into pieces reliving and giggling at what had just happened.

his birthday was always the summer crowning glory. august 30, either school had just begun or was going to. it always meant a large family picture would be taken and the clothes were always clean and crisp. refrigerator cake and ice cream always, always....

when grandma died, so did the "oh pete". he was always teasing the kids, getting us going and rough housing until we peed or cried. oh pete, don't you get those kids going like that, now stop it. he always tried to tell that joke or story she would have to end appropriately with "oh, pete". i loved their dialogue their banter and their tender love. they did love to be at home, together. his and hers recliners downstairs with appropriate blankets draped over the back of the chair. whenever we would visit on a weeknight we would have to knock twice so they could hear us downstairs, sometimes even knock on the basement window so they would surely know they had eager kids ready for their attention....how i've missed hearing the "oh pete" these past 2 years. so did grandpa. in fact, he send mountain man brother a bikini lady card for his birthday last year and i could hear the "oh pete" from the grave. he has been so lost without her, as tough as he is my heart has hurt to look at him since she left us.....


his eyes are a little blank and empty, his full of life shoulders have been slumping and i know every ounce of him has missed her desperately. my sister brought home some house dresses of grandmas tonight and that smell...i had forgot until i smelled it tonight how signature it was for her, something by avon mixed with downy. it was too much, the lump rose in my throat and the tears won't stop....

i know he's ready, i can feel grandma's relief knowing she will see him soon. just maybe they will have the best anniversary date ever on monday.

i hope in those last kisses we shared he knows my throat was far to lumpy to tell him everything i needed to....

as a kid i always thought my grandpa was for sure going to be called to be a general authority at the next general conference....he was so pristine in that black suit, making the gospel the biggest part of his life. i remember him being called to the stake presidency and elder boyd k. packer setting him a part. it was a very impressionable moment. always, always were grandma and grandpa living the gospel. it was so important to them. lil sis said tonight that his home teachers were visiting the hospital and in between the labored breathing and removing the oxygen he was telling them how much the gospel meant to him......

i'll take that forever, his last days telling me in the hospital that his and grandmas posterity was all they could leave on this earth and they were both so proud....


we'll all be mourning this {tender} time here............


9 comments:

Deanna said...

What a sweet post. I love your memories and descriptions of time spent with him. I hope he has a joyous reunion with his sweet wife.

Roberta said...

Oh Heidi, you write so beautifully. Your words are so comforting and really brought a smile to my face. Great memories are priceless, and forever.

the Hurst's said...

i got the throat lump. that was touching and so worth the read, it flooded my mind with memories of my leather-sented grandpas house, his pearl-snap shirts and dancing brown eyes. it was rich. thanks for sharing.

sniff.

Bekah said...

Heidi,
I can hardly type through the tears. What a beautiful tribute to a wonderful man. I constantly think about how much grandparents shape the live of their grandchildren.

Brooke said...

that was so sweet.....what a lucky girl to have such a great grandpa.

paige m. said...

WOW. It is hard to read when it is just so fresh on our minds, but i think that that was so beautiful and needs to be read at the funeral, or at least shared. i love ya.

Bill McFarlane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill McFarlane said...

Heidi,
What a blessing it is to have a daughter of your sort. This tribute took me to the depths of my emotions. I am so thankful for a father and mother like I have had. I will miss Dad and Mom more that anyone will ever know, but what a comfort it is to know that I will be surrounded for the rest of my earth life by my sweet wife and kids. To Mom and me having six kids has never seemed like more of a blessing than right this minute! Thank you for always gererously sharing your feelings about the important things in life. You are a one of a kind!
Love Dad

Kristy said...

This is such a beautiful and tender post. I was laughing at the mental image of him chasing your car down the street and you kids breaking out in giggles. That is such a fun memory. It is hard to lose grandparents who have had such profound influences on our lives.