Nostalgia – a longing from the past – an I ♥ Faces contest I decided to pass up…
Until I remembered this picture:
This isn’t a professional photograph. Nor is it a picture I expect to win a contest. Rather, it’s a picture of a sweet memory that is extra close to my heart this week – a picture that brings back a longing for the past…
Charles Tennison, aka Grandaddy, is my husband’s Grandpa of whom I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for only 3 1/2 years. Grandaddy won me over the first time we met with cookie dough ice cream waiting in the freezer just for me! Not only was it cookie dough ice cream, but it was the best dad-gum cookie dough ice cream I’ve ever had!
Grandaddy is known for his mad cooking skills. I loved walking into his house with the aroma of pot roast and vegetables filling the air. He looooooved picking on the morning person I am (*cough*cough*) by telling me to get up followed by an incredibly chipper “Good afternoon!” when it was only 9:00am. Waking up wasn’t so bad though because eggs, biscuits and gravy, and sausage or bacon would be waiting in the kitchen for those who wanted breakfast.
Grandaddy enjoyed showing off the deer in his backyard at night, taking us to the incredible Pap’s Place on the weekends for a buffet that would knock your socks off, driving us 30 miles or so to go to Wal-Mart, and taking us over to see Uncle Jimmy and his wife.
Wade had the privilege of growing up with Grandaddy for several years when he was just a boy. Wade and his brother, Wes, loved helping Grandaddy pick beans, corn, and tomatoes from the garden, and watching him complete his many crossword puzzles. Although, one of Wade’s fondest memories of Grandaddy was back in the day when Wade would spend the night at his house. You see, Wade is one of those sleepers that makes strange noies, sleepwalks, and sometimes carries on a random conversation. When Wade lived in Louisville, MS, his family spent most weekends in Sturgis with Grandaddy and his late wife, Nana. Many nights, Wade would wake up Grandaddy with his strange sleeping habits and Grandaddy would go in Wade’s room and tell him to shut up! In fact, on occasion, he would hit Wade with a pillow!!!!!
Five days ago, Grandaddy was diagnosed with cancer – a terrible cancer affecting the bile duct that leads to the liver. His life is changing directions as the cancer has quickly taken control of most of his body. When Wade’s parents gently explained to Grandaddy the seriousness of the situation and told him they would be traveling to the hospital at UAB for more information (the only hospital in the country capable of conducting surgery for this type of cancer), Grandaddy light-heartedly responded, “It sounds like a waste of time and money to me. I’m not going to live to be as old as Methuselah (the 969-yr-old mentioned in Gensis)!” which is totally a grandaddy response.
Grandaddy is selfless, fun-loving, and goofy. Though I’ve only known him for a few years, I can already see how much he loves and cares for others. Plus, I can see it in the eyes of my amazing husband, and my in-laws. The way everyone speaks so highly of him and loves visiting him in Sturgis, the tiny town of 206 residents. Although Grandaddy is very sick, and his likelihood of making it through the week is slim, we can rest. Sure, we long for the past – the times when both Grandaddy and Nana were alive and well… taking the family fishing, jewelrifying (yes, I just made that word up) all the girls with necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, and hanging out at the old country store “downtown.” But we know Grandaddy will be going home to be with his Father in Heaven. We already know that Nana is there waiting for him. Together, along with all of their brothers and sisters in Christ, they will spend an eternity worshipping God – a life far great the one I just described. And at some point in time, we will join him – the healthy Grandaddy everyone remembers – only this time we will join him forever.
We love you Grandaddy!