Gratitude 058: Grandpa Ken

A boy’s relationship with his grandpa is special. I love to see our son interact with his own grandpa. My wife’s dad loves being a grandpa, and is an excellent one. He loves to play with our son, and is always game for flying planes, racing cars or pretending to be a dinosaur. It is wonderful to see how much our son loves his grandpa, and it is a joy to see their relationship grow.

I was lucky to have a wonderful relationship with my grandpa Ken. He retired and moved to Washington state from Chicago when I was nine years old. Throughout our school years, my sister and I spent every summer thereafter at our grandparents’ house. Of course, only years later can I fully appreciate how lucky I was to spend so much time under the care and direction of my grandpa. He was a wonderful man. Intelligent and fun to talk to. A great storyteller. He loved people and was always positive. He was a great male role model for me. Living apart from my father for most of my childhood, I won’t say that my grandpa Ken was a father figure, but he certainly was the man who had the largest effect on me during my formative years. It was my grandpa who would play catch with me in the driveway. Grandpa taught me how to fish and how to play golf. He taught me that you never stand directly behind a fellow golfer while he’s teeing off and never let your shadow obscure his line on the putting green.

I truly enjoyed my time with grandpa Ken. He was an easy man to get along with, and I don’t recall us ever arguing. I miss him greatly. Our entire family does. I wonder if I adequately expressed my appreciation to him while he was alive. I recall sending him thank you notes at various times, but I can’t recall the various sentiments I shared. If I could speak with him today I would thank him for agreeing to take on my sister and me for so many summers. I would thank him for expecting me to be kind and use manners. I would thank him for teaching me to concern myself with how my actions impact others through his thorough lessons on golfing etiquette. I would thank him for his warm and calm demeanor. Hopefully I expressed some of those sentiments to him when I had the chance.

Thinking about my grandpa helps drive me to continue my efforts to write thank you notes to all the people who have impacted my life. I don’t want to just hope someone knows how much I appreciate him or her. I want to be sure they know. There is no time like the present.



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