Thursday, November 11, 2010

Grandpa Wavie

There's a photo hanging on my family wall of my grandfather, Wavie.  It isn't a picture that my memory recalls when I think of him, as I didn't know him at that age.  This photo was taken when Grandpa was in the service.  While I can't imagine him young and in full uniform, there are obvious signs that it is him.

Grandpa was a strong man, inside and out.  Physically, his large chest, big hands, and stature demanded attention and respect.  He only had to give us a glance as children to immediately correct our behavior.

His strength and size might have easily scared off someone who didn't know him but we all knew a teddy bear lived inside.  Those big arms loved nothing more than picking you up, in one quick scoop, and placing you on his large lap.  You felt like you were wrapped in the arms of a giant oak tree, both strong and soft at the same time.

When I look at this photo, I first notice how handsome he is, and when combined with his personality, can certainly see what led Grandma to fall in love with him.  I then focus in on his nose and ears and immediately recognize those features.  I remember Noah as a baby, sitting on his lap, and how he would instantly reach for both.  As his pudgy little hand latched onto to one, Grandpa would chuckle with that big room shaking laugh he had.

The photos in my mind of Grandpa immediately bring a smile to my face and a tug at my heart.  From his twinkling eyes, to the sweet lullabies he'd sing to us in his scruffy voice, I'm filled with treasure memories of a man I loved and admired.  He was often quiet, unless a child was around, and then the joyful expression on his face was contagious, as he'd bounce them on his knee. 

Closing my eyes, I can picture moments with him sitting at the kitchen table, white tank top and slacks, enjoying whatever treat Grandma had just made him.  We spent a lot of time at that table, the central gathering place of their home.  It didn't always involve food, though those were among his favorite times.

I remember the smile I could bring to him, just by walking in the door, and you always felt as if you were the only person in the room when his eyes would light up for you.  Of course, having a chocolaty Frosty from Wendy's in my hand for him always led to an ever brighter smile!  I loved spoiling him in his last few years with us with a special treat each time I'd visit.  In fact, he knew he could count on me for sneaking in chocolate shakes to his hospital room the few times he stayed there.

I think I could write a book about the beloved memories I have of my Grandpa.  Sometimes it's hard to imagine that he's been gone nearly seven years.  I'm reminded of him today, this Veteran's Day, as that strong and powerful man looked back at me from the wall.  It's flooded my mind with warm thoughts and moments through the years that I was blessed to have him in my life.  While I'm proud of his service to this country, I'm even prouder of the grandfather he was to me and I'm better today because of his love. 


Anonymous said...

Heather; thanks for remembering Daddy, your words express our feelings :)

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