Posted in Family, Kids, Parenting, The Meaning of Life

Memories…


So tonight Brandey and I went to Famous Dave’s BBQ—and for some reason it reminded me of my Grandpa. He died in 1998, and I’m not sure why eating at a BBQ joint made me think of him—but it did. I don’t ever recall ever eating bbq with him. Hmmm…

These are some things i DO recall, however:

He was allergic to shirts as long as he was in the house. lol He had 2 pets that I can remember (both poodles). Josephus Appleblossom was the gray one, and Big Red was the red-haired one.

My grandpa loved taking us on long drives through the state park in between Knob Noster and Warrensburg. He took me to the target range to shoot my gun (pretty sure he’s the only adult I ever cussed in front of (before I became one myself).

He loved Perry Mason…and Matlock—it came on at 10 am, and damnit—we had better be home in time to watch it. He looooved Murphy Brown and Night Court, too!

He loved taking care of his yard, but he paid the kid down the street to mow it for him. He had a giant Martin house for the birds, hummingbird feeders galore…My grandpa was LOUD (probably where Taralynn gets it from). He believed every word was fair game for him to say except the “f” one—because the “f” one—was a bad one. haha

I remember stealing a playboy magazine my uncle had left at the house—and accidentally leaving it out in the open—then when I came upstairs for breakfast he had it lying wide open on the kitchen table flipping through it (no words were ever spoke of it though). 🙂

My grandpa took us to Windsor Lake a lot…to Branson, to Hannibal.

I remember in 6th grade I won Greenwood Elementary’s Spelling Bee…Then I won the Lee’s Summit School District Spelling Bee…Then I went to the Jackson County Spelling Bee—and lost in the very first round. When I found my family the first person i went to was him—and cried on his shoulder for letting him down (which of course, I know now—I in fact, did NOT let him down—I made it to the County Spelling Bee)!!

I can only recall him yelling at me one time (for not letting Sheila (my sister) play the Nintendo). I was so scared, i made sure to never let him yell at me again.

My grandpa contracted lung cancer while I was in high school, and I sure do miss him a lot. He’s missed out on so many things. I wish I could tell him how much I love him, and I wish he could see all of his great-grandchildren. I tell them stories of him all the time, so they know what a stand-up guy he was.

I haven’t told them the story about when we went to Sam’s Club, and he bellowed real loud “where are the chicken titties at?!” 🙂 Maybe one day…

I tell Brandey about him a lot too—i told her about the time we were watching a Chuck Norris movie one day—and when boobs came on the screen how he “semi” covered my eyes for my grandma—but secretly slid his fingers apart, so i could see them anyways. We watched the Police Academy movies over and over and over and over—and they never got old.

I miss his contagious smile, and I will alway admire him for all that he did for our family. I know I’m not speaking for just myself when I say I love you Grandpa Bailey. You are most definitely missed.

I can’t write about my grandpa, without writing about his loving wife. My Grandma lived long enough to meet 4 of her great-grandchildren, and for that I (we) are extremely grateful. How grandma put up with grandpa’s shenanigans for so long, I’ll never know. lol She wore the pants in the family, though, and pretended he did.

My grandma was always thinking of others…she transformed their basement into another living area, for my great-grandmother, and then for just about every other family member at some point. She was my mom away from home. She gave the best advice and seemed to know everything.

Living in a small town—she DID know just about everyone. My grandma would talk and talk and talk about everyone in town (not bad talk—she just knew what was going on in everyone’s lives).

We took long walks almost every day. She walked me to the baseball field so I could watch the girls play softball.

She took us to dairy queen so we could get vanilla ice cream and come home and cut up bananas on them. She taught me it’s ok to used powdered chocolate milk mix on ice cream. She taught me the art of making a sandwich.

She let me sit at the kitchen table day in and day out and watch the Chicago Bulls, the Chicago Cubs, and the Chicago White Sox (thank you WGN for that).

She made sure I got my Reebok Pumps. One day, she won $100.00 at the casino, and then stopped by my job at Mail Boxes Etc. to give it to me on her way home.

She always acted interested in whatever it was I wanted to say to her, well, because she WAS interested. She was proud of each one of us, even though we all went on our own separate journeys through life.

For a couple months (when Ashleigh was about 6 months old), my ex and I moved in with her. She held Ashleigh and swung on her porch swing for hours and hours. I wish I could fully explain to Ashleigh how much she truly loved her. She was sad to see us go, and so happy for us when Ashleigh won the cutest baby in Knob Noster contest.

I will never forget the sadness that overcame our family, when we lost her. It was almost like it was over. The two people that took care of us (all of us)…for sooooo long, had finally been taken from us. It hurt so bad, on so many different levels.

Grandma, Grandpa—We all miss you for our own unique ways. You meant different things, and stood for different things to each one of us. I learn from you both, even now. Reflecting back makes me want to be a better person for my kids. I want to make wiser decisions, and be that role model for my kids and grandkids, and great-grandkids. I love and miss you both very much.

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Hello. I'm a 37 year old installation specialist, former bartender, husband and proud father of five children (all of which are girls).

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