This week I took a few quiet minutes while Thomas was napping to write my words for my grandfather. His service is today, and while I was unable to attend - I was hoping that I could still be present, at least in a small way.
My brother agreed to read what I wrote, if there was an opportunity. I hate the idea of "horning in" on such a sacred time for other people. Clearly, I don't think I'm very important (which should probably be analyzed as a separate issue at another time). But I was hoping that there would be a chance so that my voice could be heard.
Many thanks to Eric for reading this. So much love and happiness in celebration of my grandfather.
Like so many other parts of life, this is harder than I thought it would be. I wish so much that I could be there today to honor your life & memory, but I am comforted knowing that I can remember and celebrate you from here in Colorado, where I can also care for my newborn son – another of your great-grandchildren, and another link in your legacy.
When baby Thomas first arrived in November, Alan and I were startled to realize that – he looks like you! We were both struck by the realization separately, and I thought I was a little crazy when I spoke up minutes after he was born and said, “Hey Alan – you know who he looks like?” Apparently I wasn’t too crazy, because Alan immediately said – “Your Grandpa Payne.” That’s pretty incredible, and I have this overwhelming sense of love – love for this baby, and love from you. You’re always with us in our hearts, but my family is luckily enough to see glimpses of you every day. If that’s not an example of a blessing, I don’t know what is.
I want to thank you, Grandpa. For your limitless love, encouragement, and support through the days and years. For the lessons you taught, and the examples you set. Thank you for showing me the joy of building something myself – creating something where before there was nothing. Thank you for sharing your love of growth and cultivation – leading me to seriously itch in the spring until I can plant something again and get my hands in the dirt. Thank you for giving me the space and quiet and room I needed to think and dream and wonder. So much of who I am today is from you – and while I’m sad that my sons won’t be able to know you in person, I’m thankful that I can pass along all of the best that I learned from you. "Thank you" isn’t really a big enough phrase, but I think you can feel the love behind these too-simple words. Thank you, and I love you.