Sunday, November 05, 2006
He passed away in June, but I just found out tonight. Grandpa Dick, as we called him, was a permanent fixture at Bethany College of Missions, where my family lived for two years. His pockets always jingled with the change he carried around for the kids of Bethany. After getting hugged/tickled, there would be a quarter or dime waiting for you, accompanied by the ever present smile. Out of all the adults I knew at Bethany, he was my hands down favorite.
After my family moved to Washington, he would write us letters, and always included a special note just for me. I have a sudden urge to dig those letters up now. The letters faded off as the years went by, especially after Grandpa Dick entered a nursing home.
I remember one Christmas--I believe it was 1997--where he sent me a small painting he did of a cardinal. I've put it out every Christmas since then, and every year when I unwrapped it, I was reminded of Grandpa Dick. I know that when I unwrap it this year, the memories will be a bit stronger, and perhaps be accompanied by some tears (much like the ones accompanying this post), but I will do it knowing that one day, I'll see Grandpa Dick again. His pockets won't jingle with change, but he'll still be smiling, and so will I.