But today I'd like to tell you about my grandfather. He passed away three years ago today at age 83. I was very close to my grandpa. I was the oldest grandchild and the only granddaughter. You can bet we had a very special relationship.
I grew up only about a half mile away from my grandparents and spent lots of time with them. I could walk through the pasture to their house and did just that quite often. We spent time together, doing everyday things. They were always there for me (and my grandma still is). My grandfather was a wise man, a business owner, a farmer, quick-witted, stubborn, and proud. He loved having his family around and always wanted us together on birthday's and holiday's.
Sometimes, out of the blue, like while I'm in the middle of a store or doing laundry, I will find myself recalling a memory of him, of something he taught me (and he taught me a lot), and my eyes will fill with tears. I am comforted by the thought that he is watching over me and my family; guiding me from afar.
I'm sad that my girls will never know him the way that I did. They were only a little over a year old when he died. His memory wasn't as sharp the last few years, which I think was really hard on him.
Now, I have moved back to my hometown to be close to family. My hope is that my girls can have the relationship with their grandparents that I had with mine. I can only provide the opportunity, but hopefully a similar relationship will cultivate. My strong family ties are a big part of the "who" I am today...and I'm very proud of that.
Thank you, Grandpa.
(written & read by me at his funeral)
In 1920, my grandpa was born,
The first of three to arrive on the farm.
His parents, Frank & Anne, were happy to see,
A little boy added to the family tree.
I don’t know much about his childhood days.
He worked real hard milking cows and baling hay.
He finished school at the end of eighth grade ~
With a head for figures; a fine farmer he made.
He met my grandma when he was about twenty-six.
She thought him quite handsome; he thought her a good catch.
They dated a short while and then got hitched
On a cold, wintry day in 1946.
In 1950, a business began.
Hauling lime to the fields was in high demand.
Knoblauch Lime Co. was its name;
It continues to grow, even now to this day.
It wasn’t long before the house was filled
With a little boy and two little girls.
He continued to farm; he had a love for the land.
Good thing he had help from the hired hands.
His children grew up and went on their way,
But they kept close by as they had lots to say.
Then the grandchildren were born, and they loved him so.
He teased them plenty as they began to grow.
He could be blunt and quite stubborn, but what a softie inside.
And when he spoke of his grandkids, it was always with pride.
And in their eyes he was someone they wanted to model,
He was smart and so wise, and respected by all.
I’ve looked up to my grandpa since I was a girl.
He taught me so much about life in this world.
On being honest and thankful for all that I’ve got.
And he gave great advice, whether I took it or not.
He has now passed on to a much better place,
Where he walks in the garden with His Holy Grace,
Laughing and teasing and chewing his cigar
As he looks down upon us, guiding us from a far.
And even though he is gone and we’ll see him no more
Doing some fishing or combining corn.
He’ll always be with us; we’re not really apart
For we all have our memories of him in our hearts.