Yesterday, I posted on my facebook wall asking people about Lasik because I have wanted to do it for years and I finally might qualify. I didn’t expect to find myself in tears missing my grandfather. It is amazing that after all of this time, I can still hear new stories about such an amazing man. Even though it has been over 7 years since the accident, I still miss my grandfather.
My grandmother had responded to my post because she had had lasik several years ago, and it reminded her of this story that happened while she was getting her surgery done:
“While your Grandpa Bob was in the waiting room, he stuck up a conversation with a young military man who was on leave from active duty overseas. The young man said he was having Lasik because his glasses kept getting dirty, bent and broken and it was difficult for him to be safe and keep others safe without seeing clearly. He also was sending home money to help his parents but planned to make monthly payments for the surgery. Your Grandfather helped pay for the young man’s surgery. Later we received thank you letters from both the young man and his parents. Sweet.”
That was who my grandfather was, a friend to everyone and always there to support anyone who needed it, whether he knew them or not. In this world, there were two kinds of people: Grandpa’s friends and the friends grandpa hadn’t met yet. When grandpa moved from a tiny town in Iowa to a slightly larger town in Missouri (you know it was bigger because it had a Walmart), a parade for some event stopped because a local official saw him in the crowd and had to have a conversation. Even though he had been a farmer his whole life and had retired, he went to work at the local Wally World (as he always called it) mainly to just interact with anyone he could.
He was a calm mannered man who had a knack for always understating things. We joke in the family that he could have been looking at the apocalypse and simply said his trademark, “That’s not good.”
I miss you, Grandpa, and it’s days like yesterday that really remind me why. Both of your sons are becoming more like you everyday and all of your kids and grandkids carry your kindness and love for the world in our hearts. Your quiet mission will never be forgotten.