Friday, November 7, 2008

Grandpa, Let me tell you about the Good Old Days

Today is my Grandpa Sherwood's birthday. Otherwise known as Papa Hook. This is what the great-grandkids always called him and once they were here, Grandpa Sherwood was always known as Papa Hook in our house. Here are two of my favorite photos of Papa Hook. The first is the last photo I have of Papa Hook and Avery. It saddens me to know that she will never really know the kind, warm and loving heart that was Papa Hook. He loved his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren more than anything in this world. Just look at his smile. That is Papa Hook, that is true love. The second is at our wedding in 1996....we danced to "Grandpa" by the Judds. I remember Grandpa always telling us kids stories about him growing up. Today, I want to take the time to share stories I have of growing up with Grandpa. They are random memories, so they are in no particular order.

Grandpa and Grandma Sherwood took Jennifer and I on vacation to Washington DC when I was about 7 or 8....not sure exactly how old I was since my memory from those years is fading. What I remember most about that trip was walking through the Smithsonian, going for fried chicken at Roy Rogers and going to Gettysburg. I remember standing on the back of a home (might have been at Gettysburg, might have been Mount Vernon) and as we looked out into the field towards the river he said to me something like "i'm so glad that we brought you here to see the nation's capital and all of the history. i hope you enjoyed yourself and i hope you learned a lot about your country's history to go home and tell your friends". I remember walking in front of the White House and looking back to see tears in his eyes, one thing about Papa Hook - he loved his country. I thank him in my prayers frequently for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime. I hope to take my girls someday soon.

I also remember a trip to Great America in Chicago. We rode in his tan Chevy pickup. The back had a topper on it and us kids layed on blankets in the back - no seat belts, just laying and playing on the floor. I know, total horror at the thought of what could have happened to us, but that was the Good Old Days. And it was fun!

I remember him always telling us he was going to give us "ten lashes with a wet noodle". LOL! That still makes me smile. Good times.

I remember Grandpa telling me I was going to get that truck for my 16th birthday and I remember being so embarrassed at the thought and even being a bitchy teenager about it. I swore if that truck was in the high school parking lot on my birthday I would never forgive them. Now, I know how much he loved me because he would have given that truck to any of us grandkids if we needed it, he would have given us the world. He gave us so much more.

Thank you Grandpa for being the most compassionate, loving, warm, sensitive, family oriented man I have ever known. Your family was your rock and you were ours. You were the glue that kept us all together in good times and bad. I miss you every single day, I wish I had one more opportunity to hug you and give you a kiss and tell you that I love you with every being of my heart.

I know that someday we will meet at heaven's gate....and I know that we will rejoice when we meet there. Until then, I will love you forever.