While I’m writing this, we won’t have celebrated Father’s Day yet, but this piece won’t make it into print until the day after Father’s Day. I’m so thankful for the fathers in our lives and want to share my husband’s dad who was a treasured father and grandpa. One I am so thankful that was in my children’s lives. We lost him just a little over a week ago, but he will never be forgotten.
Grandpa wasn’t an overly affectionate man, but my kids knew without a doubt that they were loved deeply. They knew that Grandpa was more of an action than words kind of man, although when he spoke, they listened because his advice was golden.
I will not fully understand the relationships he had with my children because they were very different, but both so meaningful.
With my daughter, he was always there for her. He would help her with snaps on sewing projects and fix broken necklaces. He came to most events that she was in, from pageants to rodeo. The last couple weekends of his life were spent watching her compete in high school rodeo. He was so proud of her accomplishments, but was especially proud of her talent with horses.
Last fall, we had met with some of their old friends in Grand Junction. My daughter wasn’t with us at dinner. Grandpa was going on and on about his grandkids, but when it came to Samantha, he told me to get my phone out and show them pictures of her training her horses as his smile spread from ear to ear. He explained to them that she had won Grand Champion in Showmanship at Fair this year with a horse that she had broken and trained entirely herself. He was beaming with pride.
With my son, he had a really tight bond. I will never know the extent of their conversations, but I know that my son revered his grandpa and his advice. He looked to him for financial advice, work advice, and Grandpa even told me they had plenty of talks about women. Any big decision my son needed to make, he usually ran by Grandpa first.
When they were together, they were usually in the shop (a giant garage that holds large equipment — not a store) rebuilding antique CAT dozers that Grandpa picked up here and there. Many hours and many talks came from these special times. My son used this knowledge gained with Grandpa to obtain his current job as a mechanic at Trapper Mine, which also made Grandpa extremely proud. I know these times will always be held dear to Clayton because he wrote an English paper about the shop in college. The last few lines summed up their time together like this:
“The shop is a place where stories are told, learning is always at hand, and knowledge is always gained. It’s a smell. It’s a memory. It’s hard work.”
I’ll forever be grateful the presence that Grandpa had in the lives of my children. I’m glad he gave them his time and his advice. They’ll have that to hold on to for a lifetime.