Some call him Gaston. Some call him Couvey. I call him Grandpa.
Mirriam-Webster’s Dictionary doesn’t even define Grandpa. They refer you to the word, “Grandfather,” and that is simply defined as the “Father of your father or mother.”
But Grandpa means so much more than that. MY Grandpa means so much more than that. If I could define Grandpa, the simplest definition I could give is a man who gives an infinite amount of love.
When I think about Grandpa, I think about mowing the grass with him on his riding lawn mower. I think about conversations while swinging on the back porch. And shelling pecans that were collected in the front yard. I think about his plaid shirts….that I so desperately tried to get him to stop wearing by buying him new shirts every year for his birthday. I think I was somewhat successful. I think about his shop and all of his wood work. I think about him driving Ryan and I into town as we begged him to speed down the “rollercoaster” hills of Kingsland while we squealed with delight in the back seat. I think about how he always had his milk at dinner. And exclaimed, “Aw, Lily” whenever Grandma told him something he didn’t like. I think about his chair and his lamp. And muting the TV when commercials came on. I think about how the first time I ever drove was with him in his Dodge truck…driving slooooow circles in the lot next to their house. I think about attending Mass with Grandma and Grandpa. Watching my Grandpa serve the Eucharist and spread the incense. Saying hi to their numerous friends, and always being proud to be Couvey and Lily’s granddaughter. I always felt like a little bit of a celebrity when we went to church with them…I imagine that’s a little bit of a taste of what it’s like when you enter Heaven. We always got ice cream at Grandma and Grandpa’s. Particularly because Grandpa loved his ice cream. Creamy Creations Strawberry Poteet to be exact. We ate lots of that sitting in their driveway at night after dinner. Gazing at the infinite amount of stars you could see in the hill country.
Probably one of my most favorite and lasting memories of Grandpa are on Christmas mornings. I think about those early mornings when Ryan and I would wake up at a ridiculous hour, open our stockings, check out all the presents from Santa, fall asleep on the living room floor, and then awaken around 5:00 am to Grandpa building a fire in the fireplace and making us hot chocolate. With lots of marshmallows. My brother and I were glad that Grandpa got up so early with us, as that was a sign we were closer to a normal hour of waking, but we still had to wait what seemed like eternity for the rest of the family to follow as we anxiously awaited opening presents. Once it was time to FINALLY open them, Grandpa was always the designated “Santa.” He would crouch below the Christmas tree, finding and delivering the presents to the appropriate family member while we all watched with anticipation as they opened the gift. And when it was a gift for Ryan or I, he would procrastinate as long as he could just to drive us crazy, and then laugh when he finally gave it to us. But what I remember most about those mornings, whenever he came upon a gift addressed to him, he would skip over it and act like he didn’t see it, unless we noticed and shouted, “Grandpa! (or) Dad! That’s for you!” and much to his protests, we would make him stop passing out presents so he could open his.
I could go on and on and on and on and on about my Grandpa and what he means to me. A part of me is crying tears of joy that I have had 33 years of memories with him and a part of me is crying tears of sadness that I don’t get 33 more. And then I remember where Grandpa is going. He is going to a place where he will no longer be in pain. A place where words like “cancer” and “congestive heart failure” and “no more bourbon tonight” mean nothing. A place where he is whole. Where he is reunited with his parents, his brothers and his sisters. And greatest of all. Where he is with our Savior and Lord. I can see him up there. In his plaid button down shirt and moccasin house shoes sitting in his beloved chair shelling pecans. Telling jokes. Waiting on Ryan and I to get there so he can take us on a tour of Heaven in his riding lawn mower, and race us up and down Heaven’s hills. But most importantly, I imagine him greeting us in a Santa hat with the ultimate gift under that Christmas Tree. A gift from Jesus Christ….eternal life with Him.
Your Little Meanie can’t wait to see you again Grandpa.
2 Timothy 4:7 reads, “I have competed well; I have finished the race; I have kept the faith.”