Whatever you call him, Granddad, Pappy, Pop, Grandpa, if you've been blessed to have a loving grandfather, you have had treasure in your life. My grandfather, Pappy, was quite the character. Most remember him as the grumpy old fellow chain smoking and watching game shows. He could be a crotchety old guy, but for me, Pappy was instrumental in filling my childhood with security and joy. You see, we lived together. I was his youngest granddaughter, the daughter of his youngest daughter. I was my parents' only child and when they divorced in their very early twenties, I was, as many children are today, afforded the opportunity to live with my grandparents. It was out of necessity that I went to them and I am thankful everyday that their home was mine.
Whether you have that close relationship with your grandfather like I did or not, our grandfathers leave us with a lasting legacy. Bob Rawls, Pappy, left me with the confidence that I could do anything that I set my mind to do. His praise for everything I did, still echoes in my heart. I still hear his encouragement for me when I speak to my daughters with loving praise. I know he would be thrilled to see them performing, dancing, singing. A legacy of loving affirmation goes to my grandfather.
For my husband, his grandfather's legacy is a bit different but just as powerful. My husband remembers his grandfather, also Bob, as a hard-working entrepreneur. Through life's tragic circumstances, Mr. Doughtie, had to quit school in the 8th grade and go to work to help support his mother and siblings. After he married and had children, he came up with the idea to create a barbecue that people would love. Barbecue? Why not? Once his recipe was perfected, he enlisted the help of his family, wife, brother, sister-in-law to help make the product and he went out and sold it. Through much persistence and monumental effort, the little barbecue business grew into a well-known brand. It's truly the miracle of the American dream, that a simple idea could grow into a successful business. I see Mr. Doughtie's legacy of hard work everyday in my precious husband. It continues in the work ethic I see growing in our children.
Our girls are blessed to have three very special grandfathers and even a great-grandfather. For each one, there is a unique and lasting legacy imparted. From my father, for instance, my children are learning that even when relationships are not perfect, love trumps bitterness. From their great-grandfather, they are witnesses to the legacy of a covenant marriage between him and their great-grandmother. From their step-grandfather, the girls are gaining a sincere appreciation of the outdoors and the simplicity of enjoying a day in the woods. And from their sweet, "Ga-Ga," they enjoy complete unconditional love. From his delicious pancakes to trips to Dairy Queen, from his marathon school shopping trips, to summers with him at the beach, to his attendance at every game, recital, special event, our girls know that a grandfather is love. His legacy is love.
So what is your grandfather's legacy to you? What do you hope your legacy will be?