We'll Get There
It’s never easy when a loved one passes away. No matter how much or how little time you were able to spend with them over the years, the void they leave behind can never be filled by anyone else. My paternal grandfather passed away a few weeks ago, on what would have been his 85th birthday. I wasn’t as close to my grandpa as I would have liked, but I treasure the memories that I have of him.
He was a sassy man who wasn’t afraid to speak his mind, which he did often, much to the chagrin of his friends and family. No amount of pleading or lecturing could convince him to alter his tactics or take a more tactful approach.
Throughout my life, I never once saw my grandpa without a loyal canine companion by his side. Labs and boxers were two of his favorite breeds. He never spared any expense or effort when it came to the care of his dogs and no matter what they did, they could never do any wrong in his eyes. Over the years, I heard so many stories about Duke, Molly, Mutt, Jeff, and Bo. It’s clear that I inherited my love of dogs from his side of the family and you won’t find any of his descendants living without at least one dog of their own either.
My grandpa was an outdoorsman and a true adventurer at heart. He spent a lifetime hunting and fishing; but he also enjoyed simply sitting on the front porch, with a mug of coffee, watching the deer and other wildlife come in for water each evening. I saw my first porpoise in the wild, when he took my little sister and I out for cruise in his boat along the intercostal waterway. My grandpa; however, was more enamored with the three legged lawn chair we later found marooned on a sandbar. His feelings were more than a little hurt when my sister and I refused to jump into the briny water fully clothed to retrieve said chair.
He loved to drive around for hours on end, exploring backcountry roads and enjoyed showing us all of the historical homes and landmarks that he discovered in the more remote areas off the Texas Gulf Coast. Growing up, we didn’t always enjoy these meandering drives because we were never quite sure how long we would be gone or where we would eventually end up. I remember one particular visit when we headed out with the promise of lunch and ended up driving on rural roads for the better part of two hours. My mom finally took mercy on us late in the afternoon and asked him if he knew where he was going. “No,” He responded, “but we’ll get there.” As you can see, my grandpa was the kind of man that wasn’t so interested in the destination that he forgot to enjoy the journey and that’s a lesson that I think everyone of us, traveller or not, should take to heart.