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I Can Still See Him




He’s been gone for over fifty years, but I can still see him as though I had been in his presence only yesterday. I can still hear his slippers swishing against the tile floor during his later years whenever he made a determined walk down the hallway to open the door to arriving guests

 

Of his younger years, I have a more lingering image of him taking long strides and me having to run to keep up which would generate so much laughter from both of us. I can see his broad smile curling from his cheeks to the outer corners of his eyes.

 

“Grandpa, wait up,” I’d say, and he’d respond, “You’ve got to keep up.” That was a lesson for life. No falling behind.


When I was five years old, he placed me on his lap and sang “Sing a Song of Six Pence,” and when he got to “And down came a blackbird and plucked off her nose,” he pinched my nose with such a hearty laugh.  Being one of seven children, it was hard for me to generate any attention, but not when my grandfather was around. Not only could I see him, but he could see me. It was as though only he and I were in the room. Being seen made me feel special on my fifth birthday.  Now, over seventy years old, I still remember the love I felt whenever I was in his sight.

 

He always kept his Bible open on the kitchen table. When he carried it proudly by his side for all to see as he walked down the streets of New York City, it always seemed so big to me. The most precious memory is watching him in church. He was a baritone, and his booming voice sang “A mighty fortress is our God” with so much enthusiasm and confidence, his singing made me want that fortress too. I never felt surer or safer close by seeing him sing on a Sunday morning with a Bible beside him that fit a man of his size and stature.

 

This six-foot, 2-inch man of no less than 220 pounds knew the source of his power and joy, and he shared both with me. With his memory still very much alive, the images of him that I can still see, mentor me to create memorable sights for my grandchildren, so when they mention my name, they will not only see joy but also know its source.

 

 

Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were dug (Isaiah 51:1).

 

 

 

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