Grandad taught brother about life and he did this through the animals. He let him watch as pigs and cows gave birth. He taught him how to milk a cow and how and when to feed the animals. I think brother learned more from this man than he learned in his entire life. I am sure, looking back, it was the gentle voice and attitude and lots of patience.
Granddad worked hard on the farm but when he was not working he would tell us kids a lot of jokes. He had nicknames for each one of us and he made each of us feel so important. I know now, being all grown, that feeling important and loved is the base of a good foundation for adult hood.
When Grandad wasn’t working on the farm, he had a part-time job too. He drove the school bus for many years. I think every kid loved him. He had big, floppy ears and always wore bib overhauls.
When he retired from this job and the farm was sold to another farmer, he went to work for the State Highway department. He drove a truck. I don’t know how long he worked there but one day it was over because he had a heart attack while driving and hit a semi head on.
This was my first experience as an adult, dealing with loss of life. Oh boy, did I cry and cry. It took me years to get over the fact that I couldn’t see him any longer. I don’t believe there was another person that came into my life that could fill Granddad’s shoes. I miss him today but smile, as I remember all the love that poured out of his heart.
To be continued….