Within my lifetime I have lost my maternal grandfather, Steve's father, Steve's step-father, and my father. So, Scott and Tim have no living grandfathers. Mason and Marlee, however, have two grandfathers and two great-grandfathers. So this day gets me thinking about my father, Herbert Staggs, and my grandfather, Jesse Green. My father died on June 1, 1979, and my grandfather died on June 10, 1979. It was a tough month.
My mother's father, Jesse, was the only example in my family of a Godly man. I can still remember his very quiet voice blessing the food before every meal. He loved to just sit and read books. In the heat of summer I remember him bringing cool watermelons from his basement, cutting them outside on the picnic table and everyone running around dripping and spitting seeds!! True.
My father, Herbert, was a smart man without education. He could do almost anything with his hands. He loved jokes and he'd tried to tell us an especially funny one, but he'd get to laughing so hard tears would tumble from his eyes and it would take forever for him to get to the punch line. By the time he got to the end we would all be sore from laughing so hard -- mostly WITH HIM instead of at the joke.
He gave all his grandchildren bibb overalls when they were little. Plus, he'd hold them in his arms and "cut a rug" as he called it.
But, he started his journey through Alzheimer's before he was 60, before Steve and I were married. It was a long, sad, confusing journey for all of us because Alzheimer's was little known in 1967. He died June 1, 1979, shortly after his 67th birthday. He's been on my mind lately.