Sunday, January 24, 2010


17 years ago today, My Grandpa Jim passed away. He was a great man. He was the man that I always looked up to. He was a retired diesel mechanic who would still go to work when someone needed him. His finger nails were stained black from the diesel oil from working on the 18 wheelers. He always had a smile on his face. He would go out of his way to help others. He would instantly make friends with anyone who was sitting next to him on the bench at the mall while grandma and I shopped. He was amazing. He would always bring me Mc Donald’s when I was staying at their house which was very often. I loved spending time with him and we even had our own Cabbage Patch Kids Clubhouse which was his tool shed. My sister and I had fun tying him up while our mom and grandma went shopping. Once my grandpa saw that a shingle was loose on the roof and he had climbed up a ladder and was standing on the roof. He scared my mom by doing that.

My Grandpa Jim was a fighter. He broke his neck and lived to tell the tale. I knew any time I would wake up in early morning I would find him playing solitaire and drinking coffee. My grandpa was famous for his hat collection. His favorite hat was his Electronic Butterfly hat that my aunt and uncle had given him from their business. He loved to take pictures and go out west to California. He loved to travel and go on adventures. He also loved to watch ball games. He was a huge Purdue fan. I used to lie in between the kitchen and family room and watch TV and my grandpa used to pretend to step on me. I was a skinny kid and he would call me Skinny Minnie. I remember a time that I had ate a Lifesaver and I was choking on it. He took me outside and threw me over his shoulder and patted me on the back until the Lifesaver came out. He was my Lifesaver that day. He was truly the best gentleman and many people were blessed to have him in their lives.

I still remember the day he died. I remember when we got the call to go to the hospital right away, since they won’t tell you over the phone. It was an hour drive. It was a very long hour. I remember I cried the whole way there. I remember going in to the hospital and finding out he was gone. I remember sitting in the room and staring at the box of tissue. A family friend’s daughter was a nurse at the hospital. I knew her parents because they lived across the street from my grandparents and her sister was my grandma’s hair stylist and she cut my hair sometimes. I remember I drank a little can of Shasta. I cried and cried that day. They told us that he was laughing one minute and joking with the nurses and the next minute he was gone. There were so many people at his funeral. He was buried with the one thing that was most fitting for him… his wrench.

I think about him all the time. We talk about him often. I hate putting things together and when I can’t figure them out I am sure my grandpa is laughing at me and thinking it is so simple. I wish both my grandparents could have met Noah. Noah’s middle name is James after him. Noah does a lot of things that would make my grandpa smile. Noah has that same urge to fix things and figure out how they work. Noah is definitely his great grandfather’s great grandson.

I am sure my Grandpa Jim is looking down on us and whenever Noah is doing something with wheels or trying to figure out how something works he smiles and says that’s my boy.

1 comment:

  1. Your grandpa sounds like he was a wonderful man! You were blessed to know him. What a heartfelt and beautiful post. My papa (my grandpa) would have loved my kids to peices. He gave me away at my wedding but died of cancer 4 weeks before Lizzie was born. Thank you so much for sharing about him Sheila!