It's time for Sunday Scribblings. The subject is "How I Met My..." and this is my story:
I want to share how I met my Grandpa Mike; my mom's daddy. Although I know he saw me when I was very young, I had no actual memory of him. He was like a character in a story. Mom would tell us things about him now and then. This was usually when we were going through old family photos.
The love of his life, Grandma Ruth, passed away when I was a year old. Mike didn't deal with this loss very well. He became a kind of solitary man that my mother rarely saw. He moved to Wyoming, and that's where he stayed.
My mother lived across the street from the church we attended. I was 19. I had been out with friends and had pulled into the church parking lot to finish our conversation. They left to head home, and that's when I noticed a man walking around mom's house in the dark. She worked nights and wasn't home, but my little brother was inside by himself. This man was peering into the windows and trying the doorknobs.
I am not a brave person, but something stirred up in me. I pulled my car closer, walked up to the man, looked him in the eye, and said "Can I help you with something?" He looked me right back in the eye, "I'm looking for someone who lives here."
"You're looking for Leah? Who are you?"
"Well, I'm her dad! Who the hell are you?"
I was stunned. This little man, no taller than I, didn't look anything like the man in the photos. He was old, and small and thin. "Well, I'm her daughter!" I answered him.
His mouth dropped open, he grinned a huge grin and said, "That means you're my granddaughter!" Then he grabbed me and gave me a hug.
That was the beginning of a unique relationship. This grandpa was nothing like the grandpa that had raised me. He was an old cowboy, who livened up a conversation with a smattering of profanity that made my mom blush.
We took grandpa to church with us the next morning. He and mom were seated a few rows behind me. My uncle was giving the sermon. Then I clearly heard Grandpa Mike's voice in a loud whisper, "When's that guy gonna stop yackin?"
I turned slightly and made eye contact with mom. She was red-faced. A minute or two later I heard a loud whisper, "I'm gettin' the hell outa here." As I turned again, I saw grandpa stand and say it louder, "I'm gettin' the hell outa here!" He turned and headed for the door. Mom sent my brother over to the house, to keep grandpa company, till service was over.
I didn't dare look mom in the eye this time. It was one of those moments, when I knew it would not take much for me to be laughing right out loud.
I would love to have the chance for one more conversation with Grandpa Mike. He added a lot of color to our lives!