Friday, January 21, 2011

He Loved Beagles...

Tonight my grandfather on my mother's side passed away.

Just last night my mom called to tell me that he had been diagnosed with what they thought was lung cancer, but that there were complications to his lungs so the doctors couldn't be sure. This diagnosis was made on Monday.

I saw him just a few weeks ago at Christmas with the family, and he seemed fine.

He went to the store to get some groceries, and something happened on that trip and he never came back. A lady saw him in his car and thought he was just resting, but when she came back out and saw him in the exact same spot she called 911.

Enough about that, though...I wanted to post a few things about my grandfather.

His name was John Hedgecock. He was a retired member of the Air Force.

I didn't know this until just these last few years, but he loved beagles. I don't think I ever remember my grandma and grandpa having a dog, so I guess that's why I didn't know that. But when Cathy and I brought Dillon home, he was like a little kid around him. He even asked to watch Dillon instead of having my parents do it while we were on vacation once. Every time he saw me, he asked how Dillon was doing. He loved him.

He never wore least not that I saw. I heard a rumor once in the last couple of years that he put some on when he was on a cruise with my grandma and my Aunt Dawn and Uncle Dean. I still don't believe it happened. I spent nearly every weekend of every summer of my childhood at the lake, and he was there for a good portion of that. Even when we could somehow con him into going out on the boat or to the beach with us, I still don't ever remember a single time that he wore anything other than pants. It was always the strangest's a bunch of people at the beach, and this one guy wearing pants. It makes me laugh to think about it.

He had a unique sense of humor. One that I always related to, even if at times it embarrassed me. I remember one time I met my grandmother and him at a Finley's for dinner. We waited probably about 10 minutes for a table, and when the waitress came and asked us how we were doing, he said: "You tell me. I was a curly haired teenager when I first got to this joint tonight." She didn't get that he was joking, but I know he was. Even so, I still felt myself get a little bit red in the face. He always had a good joke, even if it was something a bit off color, but he always delivered them well and usually caused me to have a good laugh.

He always seemed like a tough old guy to me. You know, the kind that isn't going to put up with any kind of crap from anyone. When I was younger, I won't lie, he often times scared me. He seemed distant and cold. But you know what?? As I got older, and he got older, he started to lighten up. I don't know what it was, but as I grew up, he seemed to become more and more personable. Over the last few years, he seemed like a different person than I remembered. I thoroughly enjoyed talking to him, which I admit I didn't do often enough.

I remember one thing, probably one of the more disturbing things, of my childhood that involved him. I used to stay the night at their house quite a bit. Mom would drop me off and then come pick me up in the morning. Well, one night I was running around the house playing, and I noticed a cup of water on his night stand. I was thirsty, so I grabbed a drink of it. I didn't think anything of it, but then the next day I noticed that same glass of water...but this time?? It had dentures in it. Yup, that's right. I had taken a drink of water that was used to store dentures in. I was horrified...I don't think I ever told anyone about that.

I remember that he always had candy in the house...usually some spice drops in his bedroom and some hard candy in the basement. I always felt like I was getting away with something when I swiped some of it, as if I would get in trouble if he knew I was taking it.

Most of all, though, I remember a person that had a heart of gold. I don't think there's anything that my grandpa wouldn't have done for just about anyone. He may have seemed like a rough and tough old guy, but underneath that was a person that was friendly, caring, loving, and generous.

The kind of person that all of us should strive to be.

I will miss you Grandpa. I love you.

1 comment:

Doug said...

Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family.

Very touching and lovely post.