One of my more recent and favorite memories of Grandpa occurred a summer or two ago, up at the cabin. Grandpa asked if I wanted to go see the horses. NEVER missing a chance to go to the horses with Grandpa, I said sure. Grandma, Grandpa, the kids and I all loaded up in the Sable. Grain in the bucket, halter on my lap and headed down the bumpy old highway. We let the kids pet and feed them the grain. Grandpa asked if I wanted to ride Smokey bareback. "Of course!" I replied. Smokey was the horse Grandpa defaulted into buying. The poor thing had been horribly treated and when Grandpa first looked into his mouth, Smokey's tongue had almost been severed in half by a bit. This being the case he was a jumpy nervous horse. Grandpa led Smokey over to the trailer where I was standing on the wheel cover to get on him. Smokey was very not sure who I was and what I was doing. As I slid my legs across his back and down his side he moved forward and I was too far back on his body and he bucked a few times to get me off. Grandpa growled at Smokey and then came to check on me and make sure I was o.k. Mostly my pride was hurt that Smokey didn't want me to ride him and I got bucked off. As we finished up at the pasture we got back into the car and Grandma was so distraught and kept asking over and over why Smokey would do such a thing. After a few minutes Grandpa just started giggling into his laugh that still echos in my head and said, "Well, Smokey has NEVER been ridden bareback and Ive never dare try. I just wanted to see what he would do." I love this experience. It is exactly what Grandpa is to me. He trusted me to ride Smokey bareback. He knew I can be tough as nails and let me know that he knew it and was proud of my toughness. He taught me to try new things. He made sure I was o.k. and made sure Smokey knew he was not. He had a sense of humor and could laugh about funny things.
Grandpa, tell me 'bout the good ole days.
Sometimes it feels like
This world's gone crazy.
Grandpa, take me back to yesterday,
Where the line between right and wrong
Didn't seem so hazy.
Grandpa, everything is changing fast.
We call it progress,
But I just don't know.
And Grandpa, let's wonder back into the past,
And paint me a picture of long ago.
Did lovers really fall in love to stay?
Stand beside each other come what may?
Was a promise really something people kept,
Not just something they would say?
Did families really bow their heads to pray?
Did daddies really never go away?
Whoa oh Grandpa,Tell me 'bout the good ole days
It is cheesy to use such a cliche song, but He and his family did bow their heads to pray. He fell head over heels for his lover and it did stay. This world has gone crazy and I want to go back to the 'good ol days'.
Even when you know it is coming and you can 'prepare' yourself, or brace yourself, it still stings. I wish my children could know more of him and what he believed in. I guess now I am left to carry forth those things. And I must teach my children to love their spouse, even if they think Pam is the best way to get snow off the roof. I must teach them to love animals and especially horses and schnauzers. I must teach them to be tough. I must teach them to show genuine love, respect and interest in others. I must teach them the importance of a testimony. I must teach them of their heritage....
I am grateful I am a Kern. I am grateful He was such a significant part of my life. I will miss him dearly. I am grateful to have the memories of him by so many others as well. And will reread each of them by going Here Here Here Here Here Here. I love how she put it Here "You can't write a kiss, you can't write a hug..." Those are the things I will miss. Because of his genuine love and concern for his children and grandchildren, I always thought I was his favorite, until so many others said they thought the same thing...Still, I'm sure I am his favorite favorite...
I can only hope to keep him near and the way he made me feel by learning to make others feel that same way.
I love you Grandpa, and will see you soon.