For Grandpop

“Grandmom has stinky feet!” he would say. “No! Grandpop has stinky feet!” we giggled in retaliation as someone took a picture. I’m not sure exactly where the phrasing came from, but the name could be substituted depending on who we were trying to pick on. Grandpop was known to tease lovingly, and always seemed to get a rise out of tricking someone. He always wanted to spend time outdoors, no matter what season. (Although he always seemed to be in his unofficial uniform– a solid-colored sleeveless or short sleeved tshirt!) Watching for wildlife like turkeys, birds and deer could occupy him for hours. His handmade wooden lawn ornaments were made with care, and gave him purpose after he stopped working. He was quiet, strong and strict. But behind the steely exterior, he was a softie who loved his family and would do anything to help them. And he did. I only recently learned stories about how he helped raise his younger brothers and sisters after his mother died. He has been a father-figure to many. He didn’t have an easy life, but he never gave up. As his mobility decreased due to Parkinson’s and other health problems, his stubbornness increased. He wasn’t living life the way that he wanted to. On September 24, my grandfather passed away. It wasn’t completely unexpected, because his health had been deteriorating.  I really do believe he’s happier now, but the finality still makes me sad.

Grandpop as a sweet little boy. Can’t imagine him this young!

55 years ago…

With his oldest son- Frank Jr. aka my dad!

Sitting at his seat a the kitchen table, admiring a shirt I made for him as a little kid (it says “Grandpop’s Girl”– I was his oldest granddaughter)

Chillin’ in the pool when Grandmom and Grandpop came to visit Texas

Matching with Patrick and Ben

Helping baby Ben ride on the deer statue

Fishing with Patrick

What a cool dude! (Wearing Patrick’s sunglasses)

Enjoying a sweet treat

Zipping around in his motorized chair after he couldn’t walk very much

In his element, fishing at the lake with my dad and Ben

I will cherish the memories of time spent with him. Love you, Grandpop!

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5 thoughts on “For Grandpop

  1. That was a beautiful tribute, Kimberly. It is a good way to keep your grandfather alive for you.

    Love,
    Aunt Noreen

  2. Kimberly, your thoughts ARE beautiful. Grandpop just might say, “Kimberly’s got stinky feet!” But he’d love you all the more for it. Thank you for sharing your sorrow with us.

    Love,
    Aunt Anne

  3. Kimberly,
    Hearing your stories and many others at his funeral makes me wish I knew the sweet man you remember so lovingly.
    Love, Aunt Jane

  4. Hi,Kim,

    I haven’t logged into Gmail for a long time. Today I used it and I read your blog (thanks to the Great Fire Wall, I couldn’t watch those pictures). Anyway, I feel sorry for your lose. I hope you get better now. Last month I planned to go to Yunnan with some of my friends. I thought maybe I could meet you there. However, things changed and I didn’t go. One question, I’m not sure, is this your last semester in China?

    Simon

  5. How beautiful Kimberly. You did a great job and it fit him to a “T”. I love the part about the shirts. Things we don’t think of that someone else remembers. He is going to be missed but we have lots of beautiful memories. I’m sure when we do pics the “STINKY FEET” will be heard. Sending my love.

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