Monday, October 22, 2012

Remembering Grandpap

My eyes burned, and I struggled hard to swallow the lump in my throat.  Of all the times I ever cried, this is the time I remember the most clearly.  I was five years old, and my grandpap had just told me, as he drove me home across the rolling hay-fields, that when I was sixteen and learning to drive, he would already be gone. It turns out that he was very wrong, and on my sixteenth birthday, I was proud that he was there to watch me blow out the candles.  For twelve years after that he was there to watch me graduate, get married, and hold my sweet girls when they were just days old.  It didn't make it any easier though, when I learned that he passed away last year on this day.  I still think its him sometimes when I see an older man walking along those rolling roads by my parents house as he had done so many times. 

My grandfather grew up within walking distance of where I grew up.  It was rural, and his family had twelve children.  He used to talk of smashing tin cans on their feet to clank around in for fun.  His life was one of no frills, and he learned of gardening, hunting, and fishing firsthand.  He said that he didn't fight with his older brothers because he didn't want to rip the clothes that would one day be his hand-me-downs.  The old field in the woods behind my parents house was the neighborhood ball field, and he and my cousin's other grandpa would sit for hours on Thanksgiving Day and talk for hours about their memories of playing ball.  Sometimes they would even have faded team photos to share.

At seventeen years old he lied about his age to join the army, and instead of being sent to the Korean war, he made the baseball team.  He traveled around Germany playing baseball, and he loved to tell me about the different places he had been (I was in Germany for only 10 days during high school, but I had seen many of the same places where he used to visit).  When he returned, he married my grandma.  They had four children.  The second youngest is my dad. 

Although there isn't a day that passes where I don't wish I could talk to him, ask him questions, listen to his stories, and watch him play with my girls, I'm mostly thankful.  I'm thankful for the time I had with him, and the many things he taught me from swinging a golf club to sifting soil (a trick which I plan on using in my garden this spring).  I'm thankful for his devotion to me and my brother and cousin and later to my kids.  You could tell that he saw time as very precious, and he was always willing to give of himself to teach us something, give us something, or just to spend time with us. That October day last year is frozen in my mind.  Insignificant details that would be otherwise forgotten are burned into my memory.  He died in the woods behind my parents house.  He went for a quad ride.  He didn't crash or anything.  He had stopped, and his heart was just too weak.  He was done.  He went peacefully in the woods that he loved and hunted and fished and played ball. 

In Memory of Sam Davis 1933-2011

Pap and My Daughter Ana

Pap and My Daughter Addie

Grandpap with Me and My Brother

Grandpap and Me- My grandma is in the door behind us.

Sam (left) and His Brother Tom

I miss you Grandpap.


  1. This is a beautiful tribute to your grandpap, Becki. It was a privilege to read it.

    It reminds me too of my own grandpap who loved some of those same woods (or the woods not very far away).

    1. Thank you Sarah. I wonder if they knew each other way back when...

  2. Hi Becki,

    What a moving post.
    We just moved to a new town earlier this year, 6 hours drive from my hometown.
    My mum and her partner came to visit this week and I felt on the verge of tears so many times when I saw them interacting with my boys.
    I commented to my husband that my elder boy has benefited so deeply from the relationship my mum's partner offered him from the age of 3. What a blessing. I feel strongly the importance of grandparents and older people who are emotionally invested in the wellbeing of the next generation.

    blessings on your day,

    1. I agree 100%. I think that the older generations have so much to offer. They have been through so much, and even just a quiet visit can leave such an impact. I would love to just sit with him, pick his brain, and see the smile on his face when he sees my kids. He would really be so proud of them and my nephew who he never got to meet. He wanted lots of pictures with my kids so that if something happened to him, they would know that their great-grandpap loved them, and they do know.

      Thank you for sharing, and I think that your boys are probably so thankful to have your mum's partner in their lives.

      Blessings on your day as well!

  3. Thank you so much for your sweet comment on my post about my grandma, Becki. I enjoyed reading this post and I pray you are given comfort with the loss of your grandpa as well.