Sunday, July 19, 2009

Following after

Beve and I are out in Sequim, firmly settled in to 5th Avenure, the retirement complex where Grampie and Thyrza live. They no longer drive, so every time we come to visit, we offer to take them on any errands they have.  After our requisite trip to Costco to fill our car with gas, we headed to the east end of town where Grampie's favorite store stands.  On our way, we saw a man with labradoodle puppies for sale.  Beve stepped on the brake and pivoted the car so that we could cuddle adorable balls of brown curls for a few minutes.  You know how some women are about babies?  Always cooing over them, itching to get their hands on them, and deep in their wombs long for them--even if they've already raised a couple, three or four of their own?  Well, that's how I am about puppies.  Even as Beve was parking the car, I was saying, "Oh no, oh no..." my feet already racing to nuzzle those puppies.  I'm telling you if I had 700$ on me, I'd be trying to figure out how to bring that sweet littlest female home. The owner, seeking the larger "SUCKER" written across my forehead, gave me his phone number, and I keep pulling it out of my pocket and might even have that number firmly memorized (360-460-6608)...But since Grampie and Thyrza were waiting in the car (perhaps growing dehydrated by the long wait), we handed back the doodle-do's and drove on to Grampie's default destination:

Staples.  Seriously, there's always a reason to go to Staples.  I'm telling you the man should do their advertising.  Today, he wanted the four of us to get our picture taken right next to his favorite copy-machine, then have the photo copied for all his friends and family. I thought you might like the original, rather than the pink-tinted copy he raved over.  Ah Grampie.  The clerks and technicians at Staples know him so well, they call him by name, and Beve asked about having Grampie's memorial service right there in the well-lit aisles.

Then we returned to 5th Avenue, where we had just enough time for a second afternoon nap (kind of like second breakfast for hobbits), then it was hustle behind the walkers down the hall for dinner, at 5 pm exactly--and heaven forbid we not be in our seats when service starts.  Pork tenderloin medallions, as Thyrza told me several times.  Grampe introduced Beve to a couple people--the same men Beve's met every trip for the last 8 years (well, at least all those who haven't died, as residents here seem to be in the habit of doing).  Saw a few old friends, listened to the same stories and even those we haven't met before guessed that Beve is his father's son.

And he really is, his father's son, that is.  When I watch Grampie's "S" shape (bent back, bent knees), I see what Beve will look like in the future.  When I watch him try to pick something up off the floor, I can imagine my arthritic husband exactly that stiff.  When Grampie wanders around, trying to find his misplaced camera, wallet, hat, or whatever else I recognize the absent-mindedness in the man I live with.  Thyrza shuffles around after him, trying to help, just the way I help Beve search for whatever he's missing.  Yep, Beve's a limb of the giant tree that was Grampie.  And they share the same graciousness, the same servant's heart.  As we walked out of the dining room tonight, Grampie made a detour to the kitchen to thank the staff for the lovely meal.  This too is my Beve.  Gracious, friendly, willing to help friends and family and strangers.  I love this about him, love the legacy Grampie has given Beve.  His heart, his hands, his father's eyes--Beve has it all.

This is a gift that keeps on giving.  I see in our children the same graciousness, the same heart for others that I love in Beve and Grampie.  But this is what happens, isn't it?  "Join in following my example , and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do." Paul says.  "Follow me, as I follow Christ."  That's what my children have in their father, their grandfather, their Father.  People who follow after those who follow after those who follow hard after--down through the generations of people with their Father's hearts.  And I am thankful!

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