Thank You, Grampa…

Charles William Eliot said, “Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”   Throughout my life, books have been a constant.  I grew up on my grandparents’  farm, surrounded by reading.  Whether it was Grammie reading cookbooks or her Bible, or Grampa reading a Zane Grey or Louis L’Amour western,  I grew to understand that books were powerful.

And sometimes they help you express the things you want to say when you have no words of your own.

My 93-year-old grandfather passed away this week.  Yesterday we had his funeral service.  I wanted to share what he has meant to me, but the thought of that was admittedly overwhelming.  So I turned to what I knew- books.

A few years ago I was at a book signing event with Lynn Plourde and I picked up her book, Thank You, Grandpa (2003).

Thank You Grandpa cover

Having a close relationship with my grandfather, the title and the artwork (by Jason Cockcroft) immediately drew me in and I read the entire story while standing in the signing line.  Thank goodness the line was long, because it gave me a chance to dry my eyes by the time I got to the front of it to have Lynn sign my copy.


Thank You, GrandpaI brought it home and it sat on my bookshelf for four years.  As strange as it sounds, it was a book that brought me comfort just by knowing it was there.  You see, I had plans for that book.  Plans that I didn’t want to confront until the time came when I had to.

Yesterday it was time.  I shared it with those gathered to celebrate my Grampa’s life.  When I failed to find words to convey what was in my heart, that book gave me strength.  I took a deep breath and began to read aloud.  The more I read, the stronger I felt.  Lynn’s book enabled me to find my voice for the man I loved so dearly.

I am so thankful I was raised by those who valued reading and saw it as important and life-changing.  It continues to sustain me through difficult times.  Books remain a constant for me, even when life tosses me around.  For that, I am grateful.

Grampa, “I love you and I’ll miss you.  But I will never forget you. Thank you and good-bye.”