Saturday, January 1, 2011

My Grandad, Richard Paul Walters

When I was young, my grandmother married the most wonderful man. I was so young I barely remember the wedding. So for me, this is the only Grandad I have ever known. His name, Richard Paul Walters. But he went by Paul. For me? Grandad! I have the most fond memories of my Grandad.  Growing up we spent a lot of time at my Grandparents house, we cleaned for them, always set up their Christmas decorations, and spent endless amounts time picking pecans from their backyard with Grandad while Mom and Granny would be in the kitchen or flower bed. My Mom had a special bond with Grandad, she always introduced him as her Dad wherever we went.  And often told us that he was more of a Father to her than her biological Father (who I never knew).  We spent lots of time spending the night with Granny and Grandad and my Granny would always make us peanut butter and crackers with sliced apples. It was something we could always count on, such wonderful memories.  But other than that there was no junk food in her house. Except for what my Grandad had stashed away! He had a refrigerator in the garage that he kept stocked with Dr. Pepper and candy! He would also always let us drive his golf cart to the marina for a soda of our choice and some skittles. I always wanted to get a different type of candy, but never wanted to disappoint him so I stuck with skittles.
On several occasions, when we would spend the night, Grandad and Granny would take us to the Granbury square for Ice Cream at "Rinky Tinks!" At that time if you played a song on the piano you would get a scoop of ice cream for free! I remember one trip we took to the square so vividly, Grandad took us to a little shop and told us to pick out whatever we wanted. Bethany and I got matching hairbrushes, we were so excited!! I treasured that hair brush for years, and was quite heart broken when it broke.  They didn't buy us many material items, but the time we spent with them was priceless.  And Grandad always went out of his way to make sure we were having a good time.  We even have a great story of him trying to teach Bethany and me how to golf, I still have the old golf clubs he gave me in my garage. He would say, "The idea is to HIT the ball!" Haha, still makes me laugh! We would swing and swing and rarely actually hit the ball!
My stories could go on and on.....

One thing I didn't understand for a long time was that Grandad wasn't my biological Grandad. I didn't get what that meant, and probably because it never showed. He never treated us like step-grandchildren. He loved us so much and showed that to us every time we were with him. This especially showed around the time I was 13. Around this time, my Dad's family (I use that term loosely) basically disowned us. Through the deceitful ways of my Dad's Mother and brother (both terms also used loosely) he was cheated out of his share of his Father's company that he helped build. Within a very short amount of time we had to move, build a house, my Dad had to start his own business, and we did this all while my Mom was homeschooling us.
It was a very rough time. His brother did several back-handed things that his Dad detested but never had the guts to put his wife (my Grandma) in her place. My Papa was given the ultimatum of his marriage or his son (my Dad). Tough choice! But obviously he chose his wife, shortly after he got brain tumors and died (All this for another blog).

During this time, my Dad had to remain strong. Which was tough considering being completely abandoned by his "family."  I will say, my Dad is not perfect, but understnading his crazy family would explain some things (again, another blog).  Anyways, one of the people that helped my Dad and our family through this tough time was my Grandad. He jumped right in as a "Dad" for my Dad. They worked side by side building our house and clearing our land, day after day. They formed a strong father-son type bond. This was even more special because they didn't agree on a lot of things Spiritually and yet they were able to have a relationship through that! If you know my Dad, you know that that is a big feat.  This relationship touched my Dad's life so deeply. Oh, I am so thankful!

Some of my favorite memories as a child growing up are times spent with my Grandad. He is really the only true Grandfather I ever had.  And somehow, he always knew just how to be perfect!

I will forever be grateful for my amazing Grandad, not just for everything he has done for our family. But for the amazing man he was! He knew how to look beyond peoples flaws to see the greatness within and chose love when others would look the other way. He was wealthy and could have just lived an easy life, but he chose to help us in our time of need even when it meant tons of sweat and hard work. He selflessly took care of my Granny when she was going through severe physical challenges. He never complained, but instead was grateful for the people in his life. He loved deeply and found simple and sweet ways to show the ones around him how he cared. He was a magnificient display of the love of God.

In 2004, when my Mother passed away. I really just disconnected from everyone and everything.  I didn't see any of her family, mostly because I was so numb. Honestly, I don't remember much from that year (again, another blog).  But one thing I regret was not spending more time with my Grandad during that time.  Since my Mom passed away I just don't get close to many people. I didn't spend near as much time with my Grandad. And all of this during his most physically difficult years. I guess getting close to family was a fearful thing for me because I knew what it was like to lose someone you deeply loved and it was easier to disconnect than deal with the loss (I still don't know how to do that).  None of this excusing my absence during his time of need.  The last time I saw my grandad was on Friday, December 10, 2010. JD, me and the girls took a day trip to Houston (where he moved during his last few years), where we were able to spend several hours with him. He wasn't able to talk to me. But he knew I was there and was very alert. I talked to him, sang to him, prayed with him, cried with him, held his hands and let him spend time with the girls. He was holding my hands tight and trying to talk to me. I would just stay close and give him a kiss on his cheek. It was so special! I will forever remember that time and treasure it. One week later, on December 17th, he went to be the the Lord.  I know we miss him, but I know how much happier he is hanging out with my Mom and Granny!! He is getting the grand tour by 2 of the most beautiful ladies in Heaven, what a treat!

I am so grateful to the Lord for bringing him into our lives, for blessing me with the opportunity to experience true love from a Grandparent! He was priceless and such a blessing!

Here is a picture of his funeral program, he was a very handsome man!

After his funeral, the family went to eat at Spring Creek Bar-B-Q and I thought I would include a picture of the "girl" cousins.


p.s. I do have other pictures of my Grandad, but I can't scan them right now...

1 comment:

  1. This was beautiful, Jess. Now I'm crying...thanks a lot! ;)