The Way I See It.

My Grandpa Ted worked at the post office.  I always knew this. He probably retired before I even became aware there was such a thing as the post office, but every time we got a package from Grandma Margaret and Grandpa Ted, it was addressed so neatly on the outside, AND it was addressed on the inside, too.  Mom said it was because he worked at the post office.  When I was all grown up, and went for a visit once, Grandpa and I were discussing the fact that as a postal employee, he had not contributed to social security.  Since I was not really believing him, he disappeared for a moment, and then out he came.  With every pay check he had ever received from the post office, rubber banded in little packages.  It was a lesson in inflation, and history, and fastidiousness.  It was fascinating. 

On that same visit, Grandpa made sure to give me a plastic bag for something, and to get it, he brought out his rectangle of cardboard with the clear produce bags from the grocery store folded in thirds, then again in half, and rubber banded to the cardboard.  It was the most ingeniously organized plastic bag storage I had ever seen.

When he and Grandma came to visit when we were little, I remember them cleaning, and they brought candy bars.  Whole candy bars and put them in the fridge. It was so cool.  Grandpa was Mexican (because it was before Hispanic came in to favor) and yet I was sure he was my real Grandpa.  I was way past the age of enlightenment when I realized that my pasty white family could not possibly have Grandpa Ted as a biological grandpa – but he was the only real paternal grandpa I knew.

My kids remember Grandpa’s 90th birthday party.  I remember sitting around with Grandpa while he showed me his panama canal pictures, and talked about camp when he was a young man.  But honestly, more than anything else (except maybe how big his ears were) I remember that he was ALWAYS in a good mood.  Happy.  Jovial, even.  He couldn’t have always been happy, but to me, he always seemed that way.

It was hard to be around Grandpa, when he was Grandpa, and not catch a little of his spirit.

Rest.  Grandpa.  Rest in Peace. Thanks for being my Grandpa, and everyone else’s too.  Thanks for filling this place with a little extra spark.  No promises on the plastic bag storage, but I will try and work your joviality in to more of my daily life.

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