As you may know, my Grandfather passed away at the end of February. He had been gearing up to make a trip to Wichita so that he could deliver a car that he’d fixed up for me, and also to visit. It was my sister’s old car, a ’96 Camry, which she sold to Dad because she couldn’t afford an expensive repair, which I was buying from Dad, and which Grandpa had said he would fix in exchange for Baby. I thought he was off his rocker, because Baby is more of a liability than an asset, but I agreed. He loves to fix cars and he probably was going to use her for parts, so maybe it was a good deal, or maybe he was just being ultra-generous. Probably a combination of both, as he really lived to help others out…and to fix cars. He consistently had about ten of them, or more, on his property.
I was very eager to get the Camry back, but Grandpa isn’t known for his timeliness. Mom got her lateness factor from him, and multiplied it by a million, but he still is pretty hard to keep on a schedule. He had fixed the car after a few months, but instead of bringing it back or letting us come and pick it up, he kept telling us he really wanted to make the trip himself because he lived to visit us and delivering the car gave him a good reason to come. Nine months later, he was ready to bring it! A snow storm (the one that almost killed me) delayed him by a week and before the weather cleared…he was gone.
We aren’t guaranteed a tomorrow, but most of us take it for granted, not only for ourselves but for our loved ones. As we witness the heartbreaking devastation and loss from the Oklahoma tornadoes, it is a good reminder to appreciate what we have today, especially the people, because we never know if we’ll have them tomorrow. I’m just so glad we got to have one last good visit with Grandpa before he passed.
Dennis and I traveled with Mom and Dad to Joplin, MO, the weekend after Grandpa’s death so that we could pick up the car, and they were going to stay behind to help Uncle David care for Grandma, who has advanced Alzheimer’s. The funeral wasn’t until the following weekend. When we arrived, we found the car stuffed to the gills with food.
As we emptied it out, saving a bit for ourselves since Uncle David said we could keep what we wanted, I thought about Grandpa and how he had probably bought all this food to give to those he loved. I thought about all the times he’d come to Wichita, car loaded to the brim with boxes full of apples, or peaches, or yogurt, or whatever, to give to us. He lived to help people, especially their diets. :)
I wish I would have taken a picture of the back seat that showed how high the stuff was piled. On top was a crate of blueberries, a flat of nectarines, a flat of lemons, and a pineapple. Remember when I mentioned inheriting blueberries and lemons from Grandpa? This is how–they came with the car. :)
I wasn’t able to thank Grandpa for his work on the car while he was here, or for the lemons and blueberries that he inadvertently gifted to me, but I’m so very thankful. I now have a solid, reliable car that starts without any tricks, and doesn’t have any “Service” or “Check Engine” lights lit up on the dash.
And I’ve named her Becky because Becky seems like a solid, reliable kind of name to me. :)
As for Baby, she is still alive and kicking. Dennis turned her into his project car for a couple months and did some very inexpensive fixes on her appearance, and then my sister ended up needing a car (the same one who I inadvertently got mine from) so we gifted her with Baby. I’m glad to have her still in the family and not consigned to a junk yard just yet. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for Baby and all her troublesome ways, but I’m beyond thankful for Becky and all Grandpa did to fix her up for me, including the groovy gray primer on her nose that we just need to cover with some white. :)
Though I have to say, part of me enjoys the reminder of how much work he put into the car I’m now driving. Thank you Grandpa, I love and miss you!!!!