For those who missed a wonderful celebration of life for my grandfather this past Sunday, I wanted to share my speech with the blog-o-sphere. I was just one of many who shared beautiful stories and memories. I can not wait for the video to watch back since this day was a little bit of a blur. Thank you again to all those who came out, sent beautiful messages, and have been a shoulder to cry or lean on these past few months.
“As a young child, I idealize Papa for many reasons. To me, he was wise beyond my years and could teach me about so many wonderful things. To me he was in a simple word…Perfect.
When I was young child, Papa use to take me into the garden and teach me about the plants and flowers. All I really wanted to do was play with the bugs or swim in the pool. He continued to try.
In the evenings, he would curl up in his chair in the living room and read for hours with me. It didn’t matter that he was reading Cat in the Hat or Little Red Riding Hood because in his mind, I was reading. To me, I just got to sit in the big chair that was always reserved for him.
As I got older, into those “rough teenage” years, he gave me books from the library. I in-turn gave them back to the library. He tried to give me advise on school, I pretended to listen. The only thing that really caught my attention during this time was of course, what every teenager wants…money. We bonded over the stock market. I learned how to read stocks, bonds, and most of all money markets from the newspaper cause that’s how they did it back then. I followed closely how much my $100 was turning into. I don’t know if he will admit it but I thank Reaganomics for the boom of my money market fund to send me to college. Papa being a democratic would probably more than likely tell me it was just great investing on his part. Without his wise decision to bond with me over the stock market early on, I probably would have done what every other student of my generation did and had to take out loans for college. I feel I got lucky because he invested in my education not just by teaching about the stock market but also by being able to help provide for my future.
As I became an adult I found we continued to talk about finances and he stressed the importance of investing up until a few days before he passed. One of our last conversations was of him reminding me not to forget to max out my IRA for this year because social security more than likely will not be around to collect when I’m of age.
Living 4 hours away, sometimes you can feel left out when you phone home and find out everyone went to the local BBQ place spur of the moment but I always knew he cared. I would randomly get snail mail of an article from the newspaper he read which related to me whether it be my migraines or the housing market. There would always be a little post it note included which read, “Tam, thought this would interest you, Love Papa”.
As I have known grown, I have learned perfection comes in many forms. Papa is perfect. He was my idea of perfection of what a grandfather was. He was persistent, strong and intelligent. Ambitious, adventurous, and supportive. Loving, respectful and giving. All of these things make up a perfect grandfather, father, husband, man.
Papa has set the foundation. Many paths have been paved for me to explore. Each one is engraved with his teachings along the way. As I continue to go on my journeys in life and explore the world and all it has to offer, his memory will shine bright and his inspiration for charity to others will flourish from within. ”