Today would have been my dear D-Dad's 85th birthday, so in light of that I wanted to share what I wrote for his service at the beginning of October.
If you are here today, you probably knew my grandfather and therefore already know the many wonderful qualities he possessed. I could list them out again–because it could never be said enough what a great man he was–but in lieu of repetition, I would like to share a few fond memories of my D-Dad.I wrote that quickly, late the night before the service. I wish that I would've had more time to make it perfect, to list off all of the wonderful and funny things he said and did, but I'd probably still be writing if I'd tried that.
I live in Austin now, but I was lucky enough to live with my grandparents while I attended Texas Tech, and they were the best roommates I've ever had. They helped me through a rough time in my life and loved me when I was particularly unloveable. There was one night (of many nights) that I was up late working on a paper at the kitchen table when D-Dad walked in. It was around 3:30 AM, but rather than scold me for being up so late, he immediately went about making each of us a cup of hot chocolate and sat and talked with me for a little while.
We spent many evenings eating Dairy Queen burgers and watching Wheel of Fortune and seeing who could win between the two of us. I would be ahead throughout the entire game, but on the last puzzle–that would be, like, ten letters long and somehow only have one vowel in it–D-Dad would immediately guess it and he would win. Every single stinking time.
There was another night that we accidentally stayed up until 2 AM watching The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, his favorite movie, and yet another night sitting at the kitchen table talking about what all his kids and grandkids were like when they were younger. It was at the end of that conversation that he said, "You kids don't realize it, but the biggest blessing of all is your grandmother. She is a marvelous woman. I thank God every day for her."
He's not wrong. "Marvelous" is the best word to describe our Denny. But I don't think that D-Dad realized that he was just as wonderful as Denny. You and Denny both are the biggest and best blessings we have ever received. We were so fortunate to love and be loved by you.
I love you, I miss you, and I promise to be careful driving back to Austin.
During the service, a pastor at his church spoke about the last time he'd visited D-Dad before he passed. "You would go there to be a blessing and he'd out-bless you," he said, which is my favorite description of D-Dad to date. He was a good man and a great D-Dad.