DECEMBER 10, 2020
My Grandaddy was a constant in my life. My earliest memories include him. We affectionately called him “Cranberry Grandaddy.” He was a private man and a Marine. He was a man of few words, but he often spoke of the importance of church and gave my two boys small green Bibles when they were born. He always smelled like cloves and loved maple candies. He was a man who always showed up for those he loved. He was a tough dad but a gentle, loving grandfather. My older sister and I joke that he would still give us big, wet kisses on the lips even when we were adults!
Christmas was always a special time at Grandaddy’s house. He loved having his family visit more than anything, and we would help him decorate before our Christmas Eve get-together. He had a real Christmas tree with the big vintage bulbs that glowed so brightly. He was very particular with how the tree should be decorated and would sit back and direct us where we had missed a spot or where a bulb needed to be moved. The things that drive you crazy when you’re a kid and the things that make you smile when you grow up. We fried corn fritters and he had to have applesauce with them.
My Grandaddy always showed up. He would pick me up from school when I was small in his big Bronco truck, and we would go to his workshop where he worked as the maintenance director for over 30 years at his church. I was amazed at the number of keys he had! He would stop by most days just to check in. He could fix anything and would. He always answered the phone and he always said, “Yello!” He never forgot to say, “I love you,” before hanging up.
My Cranberry Grandaddy went to be with Jesus in October. I got the amazing opportunity to visit with him in Hospice and let him know exactly what he meant to me. At his funeral, I learned that he was this constant for so many people. He was the real deal. My brother is this kind of man, and I am thankful every day for both of them.
This Christmas I will celebrate the birth of our precious Savior with my family. I’ll make corn fritters and serve them with applesauce. I’ll light a clove candle and I’ll cry and smile. And I will celebrate the life of my precious Grandaddy whom I know I will see again.