The older I get the more I value the relationships that I have had with some very great men. It is only later in life that I realize just how lucky I was to be able to spend time with my grandfathers or men who were like one of my grandfather's. I just wish that when I was younger that I would have cherished the time spent with them more than I did. I was reminded of just how little time we have with each other today as one of my favorite people passed away. He was a friend of mine who attended our church and Grandfather to one of my close friends. He was one of those men who can be considered "Giants" among those people who knew him. His giving nature and overall great attitude is what I will miss most. He always took the time to stop me and talk to me and ask me if I was "looking out" for his Grandson. I promised him that I was doing my best! As I reflect on my many conversations that I had with Mr. Ed, I am reminded of all of the "Grandfathers" that I have had in my life and even though they are no longer with us, their memory will last a lifetime.
Grand Daddy- My Grand Daddy was a farmer and drove a tractor. He was a strong man that worked hard and enjoyed his play time also. He is where the family hunting tradition comes from and the reason my father is a hunter and I am too! I have too many stories to tell about this man and what he meant to my life and I miss him very much to this day. I think he would be proud of me for the way that I am teaching Reid to love hunting and fishing. I have a little 20 gauge over and under that he gave to me. It is the pride of my gun collection! I am honored to carry his name!
PaPa- Papa was the Grandfather that every little boy wanted to have. He was the fire chief!!!! Yep, I got to ride the fire trucks and even wear the Chief's hat. How cool is that?????? He was also very good with his hands and liked to do wood working projects. I have several pieces in my house that he made for me and my sister. I will cherish them always! I remember that he was just the most gentle and kind man that you could ever be around. He was my PaPa!
Mr. Leroy- Since both of my grandfather's lived out of town, neither one of them got to see me play much baseball. This is where Mr. Leroy comes in. He was a family friend who sort of made me one of his grand children. He came to every baseball game that I played in in high school. He would sit right behind home plate and shout words of encouragement in my direction. I would always make sure to go up to the fence and talk to him before the games. All the guys on the team just assumed that he was my "real" grandfather. He wasn't, but neither of us seemed to mind!
Big Jim- I'm not really sure what started off the special relationship that I had with Mr. Jimmy. I think he approached me at church when I was just a young teenager and told me that he was the Grandfather of one of my buddies. He liked my singing and I liked the way he said a prayer. We would find each other every Sunday to make sure that we spoke. As I got older and became great friends with all of his Grandsons, he would proudly say that I was his 4th grandson! I was the one that was proud! Mr. Jimmy was a great man and I loved him very much. I served as a pallbearer at his funeral.
Mr. Ed- He always had a smile on his face. I met Mr. Ed through Mr. Jimmy. They were great friends. When I went to visit Mr. Ed in the hospital two weeks ago, we spent our time together talking about Big Jim and all of us boys. He asked me if I was "looking out" for his Grandson and I told him I was doing my best. I told him to get better and that I would see him at church when he got home. He went home last night. Heaven just got a little brighter!
I can only hope that those of you that read this will take some time to reflect on some of those "Giant" men that you have met in your life! I consider myself very lucky to have had the time that I had with my giants!
Councilor, your Grandfather was a great man! I will miss him! And even though I know that you don't need it, I'm going to keep "looking out" for you........ just for Ed!