When I think back to my earliest memories of you, I think of the outdoors, dirt, fish, the sun beating down and me complaining about it all.
When I think back about my best memories of you, I think of glorious sunrises, the thrill of the catch and beauty in raw nature.
I remember how you always got up so early, without an alarm clock. How you always seemed to know what to try next when the fish weren’t biting.
How I think you really did like my terrible story of Mr Brown Trout and Mrs Rainbow Trout and their wonderful children the Golden Trout. Even if we didn’t catch a cold on that outing.
I remember that even as you told that Kendra and I complained all the way up that trail, that you were proud we made it anyways. You said it was all our complaining that scared the fish away.
You took me to college and got me squared away in my dorm room, you called and let me know you were there for me when I left home, you walked me down the aisle and gave me away.
I remember when you came out to meet my husband, that you shook his hand and looked him in the eye like a man. You may never know how much that meant to me, still means to me.
When you came out to visit us in California, you told me, “So you’re playing house, huh?” I didn’t know what you meant till I had kids of my own.
The pride in your voice when I birthed my third child at home.
The look in your eyes when you played catch with my first born, and when you got down on the floor with my youngest and called him a little bug.
Granpa, you don’t even know it, but we are expecting our fifth child in January. It’ll be a little girl. We will name her Sarah Ruth. My heart aches that my children won’t have the memories I have, but I will tell them all our stories and yours.
Granpa, I told Granny how you knew how hard she was working and how proud you were of her. She couldn’t believe that you would actually say those things. You never did say much, but I always knew you loved all of us.
Granpa, if you can understand, don’t feel like you have to hold on for us, you have lived enough life for a dozen good men, please, I know there is a place reserved for you in the life to come, please don’t hold on for us.
I miss you already…your number 1 brat.