We were in the basketball stands last night on Grandpa’s 89th birthday. He and I had talked earlier in the day about game times and he had said on the phone, “As long I keep putting one foot in front of the other, I’ll be there.”
He did just that, on foot in front of the other, like he has his whole life and was right there with us for his birthday. Unassuming in stands, in his new Wrangler jean’s I bought him at the Western Shop in our small town with the new boots my mom bought him last year, he was wearing his NDSU Agriculture hat with pride as a 1952 graduate.
My uncle Jim, Grandpa and Grandma’s oldest child and son, sat next to him and cousin Colton was alongside Jim. I was just ahead of them, surrounded by my husband, his parents, our daughters and my brother-in-law’s dad, Rob, who is a wonderful friend and loyal fan of Hunter’s. Nearby my sister-in-law Jenn and her family were in the stands. Across the stands were my husband’s aunt and uncle. On the court, my brother Robbie was the head coach for the Mustangs and our son, Hunter was playing with his team.
I don’t know if I will live to be 89 years old. But I know moments like we had last night matter. I tried to soak it all in and remember the night for all that it was. Just a small town gym with two small school teams.
Four generations of family with friends in the stands, together on the North Dakota prairie, our family’s home for five generations. There is absolutely no where else in the world Grandpa would rather have been than right where he was. He didn’t need any big birthday celebration.
He had all that he needed, surrounding him. On Grandpa’s 89th Birthday, the Mustangs won, 69-59. On the way walking to the vehicle where he loaded up with Uncle Jim, he said to me, “Thanks for everything.” My family isn’t much for sharing too many feelings. But my grandpa and I are both criers. I couldn’t say anything in response to him without a big lump in my throat and tightening neck muscles. As they drove out of the parking lot, headed back to the farm, I said to myself, “Grandpa, thanks for everything.” The moonlight lit the sky. I took a big deep breath of the sharp winter air and put one foot in front of the other. I’ll be there, right where I need to be, thanks to Grandpa’s example.
Yup, when we look through all the controversy and issues people think are “big”, what it boils down to is this, family and relationships. Had me crying in my coffee this morning. Thanks for this reality check. Its a awesome post.
You and your family are very lucky to be so close and see each other often. Your Grandpa looks great and is a treasure! How fun for your kids to know Great-Grandpa.
J’s Grandma will be 91 in April. She is a very classy lady and I hope I can age half as gracefully as she has. When we go through the Hills we have to call and make an appointment to see her. Between playing cards, Church activities and going out with her Daughter and Daughter-in-Laws she is a busy lady.
Last weekend was the 10th anniversary of my Grandpa’s passing on. A man I still think about everyday and one of my favorite people. I have to laugh out loud sometimes, as Mom ages she has a few of Grandpa’s little quirks.
What a precious time spent together with family. Happy belated birthday to your Grandpa! I think he looks snazzy in his new jeans and boots. 🙂
My sister saw this and told me about it. She said she had tears in her eyes, and so did I. You are blessed to have a close family and to have him in your life. Enjoy every moment!