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Monday, July 28, 2014

Paying homage to grandparents

Sunday, February 6, 2011

When I think of the word grandparents, I notice the two words grand and parents. That is exactly what we have had over the years.

Whether we are eating the best meals, playing video games or bootscooting some of my favorite moments in life have occurred at the little blue house at the end of Elm Street.

As life goes on and I familiarize myself with different families and grandparents it has become very evident how lucky we have been to have such incredible people in our lives.

Whether it's Christmas morning, a Halloween weiner roast, or just a lazy Tuesday evening, you were always there for us and their for the family.

Personally, in a way you've always been home for me. If anything were to happen or if I ever needed advice or just a presence, I always knew I could hop on U.S. 40 and head west toward Brazil and everything would be OK.

Grandma is the glue to not only grandpa, but everyone she meets and loves. From her writings about life, love and Brazil, she has helped connect Brazil to the world and our family to the world. I remember going to her book signing as a younger kid and I was so proud of my grandma. She grew up in small-town Brazil and has become a distinguished author. I admire her ability to unconditionally love every time I see her.

My grandfather, over the years, has had health issues and she is always there nursing him back to health.

My grandfather adores her with every inch of his soul and after 50-plus years of marriage, I admire this love so very much. I hope everyone has a chance to love as deeply as my grandparents love each other.

My grandmother is also quite the socialite. She is always staying connected, whether it's through Facebook, a simple phone call, or the latest standings on "American Idol," I always know grandma knows what's going on.

Readers of her (columns) and residents of Brazil know of Mary Lou's fluidity with words and her knowledge of everyday happenings, but they don't see the person that we have seen throughout the years.

That person is grandma.

From her face massages to a home-cooked meal that could make anyone forget about Paula Deen, grandma is the best grandma anyone could ask for. She is a beautiful wife, mother and grandmother and we have been truly blessed to have her in our lives.

Grandpa, grandpa, grandpa. I love you so very much and admire everything you've done over the years. From how you've always worked so hard for your family to how after 50-plus years not a day has gone by where your love for grandma has faltered.

There are so many facets of my life that have been shaped by your knowing guidance or your unknowing principles. You've taught me that no one can stand in the way of what you want. Whether it's the woman you love or just simply a job you want, anyone can obtain their goals if they set their minds to it.

A lot of kids grow up and look for role models. They look to big basketball players or big football players.

I didn't need to look for these big guys as role models because I always had my grandfather.

To me, he was the biggest thing I had ever seen. Back then and to this day, grandpa is my role model. I hope in my lifetime, I live, laugh and love half as much as he has.

It's hard for me to put to words the enormity of admiration I have for my grandfather. I will never forget our late nights of playing "Mario" and our early mornings of donuts and juice. Grandpa, I love you.

Most kids dread going to their grandparents. We never understood that.

Going to Brazil was a release for us. Late nights of Nintendo, brown sugar toast from grandma, donuts in the morning and bootscooting in the afternoon, we could never understand who would dread these activities.

But it wasn't just the activities that made the blue house on the end of Elm Street the best place in the world, it was the people who lived there.

Through the years, we have gone through a lot of divorces and life changes.

I understand these things happen anymore and a lot of times, it was for the best, but my grandparents have shown me that love is real and it can persevere.

Over 50 years of marriage and my grandpa still looks at my grandmother the same way as the day he laid eyes on her when they were teenagers. I may not have said it and they may not have realized it, but that relenting love has influenced our lives and our marriages in more ways than anyone knows.

In 50 years, when I look at my wife Kayleigh and see her in the same light as I did when we were teenagers, it will be due in part to my grandparent's example they instilled in me throughout the years.

They are the most beautiful people anyone could ever have in their lives and I'm lucky enough to have them as my grandparents.

I love them with all of my being and will forever love them not just through me, but through my children and their children as well.

Grandma and grandpa, we love you.