Saturday, January 29, 2011

Times gone by

My grandfather and me, when I was 2yrs old
I came across a post today that made me go back 33 years. It reminded me of the time I had with my grandfather, Cecil Farley. I wanted to share this with you. I can't say that it has much to do with leadership, but it is something very personal to me that I wanted to write about. 

My grandfather passed away, of a heart attack, in November of 1978.  I was 7, to sum up what he meant to me, I would simply state, everything. 

I remember him walking with me, holding my hand and teaching me about life on a farm and all the wonders of nature. He would take me fishing at a trout stream that was close to his home. He would do most of the catching, turning the rod over to me to allow me the excitement of the, "Big catch"

I recall how he would sit with me on the front porch and just enjoy being with me. Other times, he would take me up to the woodshed, sit and crack walnuts for me to eat. I remember vividly how he would smile at me every time that I came running up to him. He would pull me up me into his arms,walking and talking with me. 

There were times when he would take me for rides on his tractor, even letting me "drive" We would drive out to the barn or out to the field and check on the cows. Pointing out the various animals that we encountered and the different vegetables in the garden. Explaining how each should be cultivated, to achieve the highest yield. 

Mostly of what I remember of him is his smile and how he made me feel accepted and loved. He cherished me and showed it in all that he did toward me. 

My grandfather, my cousin and me
I have honored him by giving his name to my first born son as his middle name. When my son was old enough to ask me about his name. I told him he was named after my grandfather and his great grandfather. He asked, "But, why?" I explained to him the best way I knew how about the love I shared with my grandfather and how he should feel honored to have the name. I wish often that my children would have known their grandfather. I know he would have enjoyed them immensely. 

One of the last memories I have of him, was shortly before he passed away. It was early November and cold. I was asking him to take me trout fishing. He told me that it was too cold to go fishing, but that as soon as spring came he would take me. He passed away shortly after this. 

I hold to the hope that one day, My grandfather and I will walk hand in hand again, returning to the trout stream and go fishing together again. Mostly though, I long for the day that I can tell him, "I love you and I've missed you so" 

Take the time to tell those you love, just that, that you love and cherish them. Don't think that another day will come or that you'll get the chance again. Life is but a vapor, a passing wind. Tell them today and everyday, every chance you get. Odds are that the day will come when you wish that you would have had just one more second with them. 

"I'm gonna walk with my grandaddy,

and he'll match me step for step,
and I'll tell him how I missed him,
every minute since he left.
Then I'll hug his neck." 
~Brad Paisley, "When I get where I'm going"

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