15 July 2010

Through the looking glass

Between dreams of late and oddities happening all around me I have the feeling I somehow stepped into a Lewis Carrol book and can't get out.  I decided to just go with the flow and have laughed myself silly on numerous occasions this week.  Perhaps if I were to spend some time with someone to analyze my dreams I would find all sorts of hidden meaning.  I decided to accept it all as a gift from God to help me keep a cheerful attitude during some challenging times.

I am reminded to look for the positive, that even difficulties can provide blessing, and life is mostly what you make of what comes your way.  All thoughts worthy of their own bumper stickers, but encouraging nonetheless.

I am thinking of my grandfather a lot this week.  For the entirety of his life he always made sure to find joy around him.  A dignified man who knew being silly would not dent his dignity.  After all, until the day he died, I called him "Grumpdaddy."  Poor enunciation as a child branded him with a goofy nickname used by me and my sisters.  Yet, that moniker was never uttered by me without respect and admiration.  

Some of my best childhood memories involve this sweet man. He was a man who loved everyone around him.  One phrase each of his grandchildren can recall hearing from him was "Oh, how I love my neighbor!"  He did more than just talk about it, he lived it. Never did he pass someone in need without doing something about it.    It was a delight to go into town with him for an errand.   We'd stop for a soda or a piece of pie.  It was sitting at the soda fountain where folks would come up to him and thank him for something he had done for him.  It seemed I never went anywhere with him without hearing about his kindness. He would always caution me not to tell anyone about our stops when we got back home.  When I was young I used to think he didn't want anyone to know we had splurged on pie.  As I grew older I believe he didn't want me to talk about the things he had done.  I had a feeling most of the times he assisted someone, he did so in secret.

Perhaps the thing that I loved about him most as a child was his ability to play.   I believed that grown men were serious and didn't have the desire or time to play silly games. (I exempted women as my mum frequently indulged in playing make-believe with me)  He would encourage my flights of fantasy as we played in the old tree-house. One summer afternoon found me making patterns in the dusty soil with a stick.  He asked if he could join me and we made a huge drawing on the earth.  When we lived in England he came to visit.  As we traveled all over Europe you could see his delight every where we went.  It remains to this day, a highlight of my time there.

There are many ways he influenced my life but I believe the two most important were to love everyone around you and to take fun wherever you find it, even if you have to make it yourself.

Glad he was my Grumpdaddy,


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