A Tribute to My Grandfather

Things I will always remember:
White Castle burgers
Louie L’amoure books
3pm cans of Pepsi.

A man of the earth,
you delighted in catching fish,
tapping maple trees,
watching birds,
planting tomatoes in hay bales.

They tell me you once longed to be
A farmer,
To work the ground and watch life grow
Each day.
But hay fever had no cure
So you signed up to be an engineer instead.

When you came to visit,
New growth sprung up in hand-built swing sets,
Backyard sheds,
Shelves or fences or sink repairs.
Every fall, like clockwork, the gold-tinged van pulled up
On Sandra Court.
You played football with us in the front yard,
Oversaw Halloween preparations,
sat in gymnasium bleachers for hours.

I loved hearing the stories:
When you met Grandma and her blond ponytail,
Or that summer internship when you bought
Hamburgers ten for a dollar.
We grew up playing in the houses you built together,
Where your love and hospitality transformed
Wood and brick into a home for so many.

In these later years, you shuffled more and talked less;
Ruthlessly guarded your “spot” on the couch
And still remembered to ask us if we’d “met someone” yet.
But it’s your excitement over the little things
I still remember the most:
Apple fritters on Tuesdays,
Cheese curds on Wednesdays,
Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy each afternoon.
You never stopped trying new things:
New computers,
New tomatoes,
New maple syrup boiling techniques.

And through the most laborious act of love,
You faithfully sent encouragement my way.
“Jenna, Hay Jenna what a great post.
I really liked this post, George M.”

“Hi Jenna,You always have very
interesting things [to] read about ‘’

“Hi Jenna, OK I get you.
I don’t understand but, I hear you.
Merry Christmas.”

2 thoughts on “A Tribute to My Grandfather

  1. Hi Jenna & Ben, This is beautiful Jenna–you have a gift with words. So sorry about your grandfather’s passing… but know you have a treasure of memories in your heart to last a lifetime.

    Anxious to hear more about your Shri Lanka trip. Maybe we can visit via phone sometime.’

    LOVE YOU 2!!!

    Mema & Papa


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