Yesterday we said a final goodbye to my Grand Poppy, Harry A. Stout. I just cried a little more typing those words, and I am tired of crying. But some people are worth crying over. Some people deserve a fuss being made over them. Grand Poppy certainly deserved it, but he may not have liked it.
In my memory, Harry A. Stout was a good man, an honest man,
a humble man. He did not talk much about his childhood with me, and yet he
was a wonderfully child-like grandfather, always willing to go for a walk or
play a game of cards. He could nearly always
be talked into a bowl of ice cream. He
didn't seem to care what name we gave him, and he answered to all of them:
Grandpa Harry, Bobby, Grand Daddy and Poppy. Maybe names weren't such a big deal to him, as I often heard him say "There's my girl!" when someone new walked in the room. I usually had to look to see if he was talking about my dearest Grandmother, Piki, or one of his daughters,
or one of us granddaughters or one of his dogs. He loved all of his girls, and he made
each of us feel like his favorite, his special girl.
I wish my daughters could have known him better.
But why do we wait until someone is gone to say nice things about them? I said "I love you" each time I saw him, but never told Grand Poppy how much I appreciated his humility, or his generosity, or his ability to pretend that our hands were glued together. I hope that someone expressed to him in words what I left unsaid.
Today I will begin saying the nice things that others need to hear. I will tell people that they are wonderful, that they can do great things. I will pretend with my children, and I will tell them family stories until they can recite them back to me, until they are sick of hearing them, until they know the good people that have come before them. Today I will speak my love and admiration.
And I will have a dish of ice cream topped with a few salty tears.