Thursday, March 10, 2011

Grandpa Thom

My Grandfather is very sick right now with acute pneumonia. His doctor has given him six months tops and my aunt, who works with these type of patients all the time, says that really Grandpa only has a few weeks. I'm not ready for this! I don't want to let go of ANYMORE people that I love! But I knew this day would come; I've known it for some time. He has almost died two other times in the last couple of years. But he is a STUBBORN MARINE--nothing keeps a good MARINE down. He always manages to pull through. But not this time. This is the real deal.

I should be thankful--and I am--God did answer this prayer that I prayed two years ago. "Please God, I just lost my child. I cannot stand to lose anyone else for at least a couple of years..please, I beg you. I cannot handle anymore loss." So here we are...and I am thankful that I could talk to him on the phone for two more years. And I pray that I get back to NY in time to tell him in person that I love him one more time and to beg him to please make his peace with God.

I would like to tell you a little bit about my Grandpa. He is awesome! Though he is my step grandfather, noone would ever know it...I feel lucky that I got to have an extra Grandpa hanging around- especially now that he is the only one left! He is definitely a favorite- when I was little, I remember going to see him and my grandmother and having cookouts late at night out in the backyard. He cooked the best hamburgers for me!! Oh my goodness, he spoiled me rotten! I have LOVED to eat pickled eggs ever since I can remember. Sometimes two or three at a time! (I used to be able to eat whatever I wanted and never gain any weight!) Grandpa would go to the convenient store and ask the employees there to save him the jars that all the pickled sausages came in. When the sausages were gone he would go pick up the jars and take them home and put hard boiled eggs in them. He'd leave them in for a long time so that they were perfect by the time I came over for a visit. Then he would call me over and whisper in my ear to go to the back room and check the fridge.  I would run out there and open the door to find a HUGE jar of pickled eggs!! Oh, my mouth is watering just thinking about it! He did this for me well into my teenage years...boy do I ever miss that!

And Christmas...oh what fun we had for CHRISTMAS! When my grandmother was alive we'd go up to their house for Christmas breakfast. Grandpa would have on his Santa hat, and you could smell the ham and eggs he was cooking from the driveway!! Nobody makes ham and eggs like Grandpa! And the TOYS! Nope, I'm not talking about the toys we opened as gifts. I'm talking about GRANDPA'S TOYS! He had dancing Santas, and Santa heads up on the wall. Whenever you would walk by the Santa head he would roll his eyes and either talk or sing a Christmas Carol. Three Christmases ago I sent him a singing Christmas penguin. It sang, "I'll have a Blue Christmas without you". He played it for me over the phone to prove to me that he'd gotten it in the mail!

And then there were all the time I came home from college; and the times I came home with Kris after we got married. As soon as I/we got into town, he was always on the phone, wondering when he could come pick me up to go eat out at the "Trough" he called it. The "Trough" is what you all know as the Old Country Buffet. So he would come and pick me up- sometimes it was me and my siblings- and he always showed up way before he had told me he would come so most of the time I was never ready to go. But he didn't mind- he'd ask my mom for a plastic bag and go help himself to the garden outside in my parent's backyard while he waited. Then when I was ready, we'd leave and drive down the highway with the turning signal turned on for the entire ride. We would pig out at the "Trough", dessert and ALL, and then check out all the dollar stores in the area. Then he would take me home and come in for some coffee and a chat with my mother before he would stand up and stretch, leave with a parting laugh and a "you be good", and head on home.

To his friends and World War II buddies he is known as just "Howdy". To me, for now and for forever,  he is just "Grandpa". I love you, Grandpa and I can't wait to see you. Please hold on till I get there. Semper Fi.

Grandpa with Jake, December 2004


  1. That is beautiful. What a legacy. So thankful you have those wonderful memories.

  2. I'm so sorry Jody! I will keep your family in my prayers. He sounds like a really great grandpa! (((HUGS)))


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