Tribute to Grandpa
When I was asked to give this tribute to our grandfather on behalf of the grandchildren, it was hard to think of specific instances when grandpa influenced our lives. As his grandchildren our Grandfather was such a fabric woven into our lives that we took him for granted. We were so blessed and enjoyed such privileges as having our grandfather as part of our daily lives. No matter how far we were from him, he was a part of the fabric of our entire lives. The family structure typically includes mother, father and children. Our family structure included, mother, father, grandma and grandpa and siblings. For a lot of us it was Mother, Grandma and Grandpa.
Let me begin by making my official apologies to Grandpa. First, for catching the mattress on fire in the front room; then for peeing in the tank, and for letting out Betty’s calf after Uncle Nigel had put it in the pen. You always saved me from that spanking as you would say “Lef him, a bway.”
I can vividly remember when Mr. Ritchie would drop you off at the gate in the evenings after work. We would listen for the sound of the Reynolds Landover, and it would be a race to the gate to get your lunch pan so that we could eat your leftovers.
You never left me out on those road trips to St. Elizabeth, to Milk River and wherever else in Jamaica you and Uncle Norman would go. Those are very fond memories that I will always cherish.
Grandpa, you taught me how a father should treat his children. I have never experienced anything other than complete love from you Grandpa. Watching you serve your Lord, love and provide for your wife and family; always mindful of the needs of others, and always checking up on us no matter how old we are or how far we roam. You made it your duty to know what is going on in our lives; your interest in our happiness is of great importance in your life. Although your interest in our well-being is utmost, your service to your God was paramount. I have seen when things are going horribly, in sickness, despair and need you always turn to your God knowing that he will deliver us. You have given over your entire family to God’s care, and what better example could that be for me as a father.
I have also seen you build something from nothing. Never, ever have I experienced hunger in your house. I only know of the word hunger, but was never ever hungry. You have kept your house, the bills, and the entire running of the household as if you were still a young man. You see that the place is painted and cleaned, the yard is immaculate, there is food in the house, that we have Wi-Fi when we come to visit. What 89-year-old man is interested that his grandkids have Wi-fi to make them comfortable.
Grandpa, I strive every day to be more like you, and have followed your teachings when it comes to my family and my children. I only hope that I have made you proud of me, Grandpa. That would be your greatest gift to me. I am sorry that I cannot be at your celebration, but my spirit is right there with you. So, have a very lovely day, and remember that you are surrounded with nothing but love.
~ Sean ~
Your birthday is not special only to me but to all those people whose lives you have touched with your love, kindness and generosity. In the 37 years that I have known you, you have been more than a great father. You are an inspiration, a teacher and a friend. The quiet dignity with which you conduct your life and dealings with people has always impressed me. You never had to boast to make people admire you.. You never had to shout to make people listen to you. You never had to threaten anymore for them to respect you. The love and admiration that I have for you is more than word can express. My biggest regret is that I don’t get to spend as much time in your physical presence.. I am sorry that I couldn’t be there to celebrate your birthday. I will see you in May and we can drink a Guinness and sit on the veranda and count cars.. Love you Daddy