Get the exclusive (almost) Weekly Digest.

    Granddad Turns 70

    January 9, 2006 by Brandy Vencel

    Saturday night, my parents held a surprise birthday party for my Granddad. It was a good time of celebration. My mom and her sister did a wonderful job of honoring their father. We ate at a long banquet table, all the guests in seats, little E. and his cousin at the “kids’ table” and then a row of high chairs filled with little ones! Everyone partook together. It was beautiful.

    During dinner, different guests would hit the side of their glass, and then rise to share what it was about Granddad that makes him so special. Later, there was a recitation of a poem written especially for him, and then some special music…by me. It was a full-fledged Johnny Cash routine with a cousin playing guitar accompaniment, because Granddad is a long-time fan.

    As I recently told a friend of mine, I used to think that I was always asked to sing at these family events because I was the only one who could. I have since decided that I’m the only one who will, making me the biggest sucker in the family. But I digress…

    I’m not sure I really want to discuss the party and all it entailed, though I will mention that I found it all so beautiful–the various family members using their different gifts to bless our patriarch. It all felt like something out of the 1800s with the home-grown talent and home-cooked food. What really struck me was what an amazing man my grandfather is. I wasn’t brave enough to click my glass and speak; I thought I’d end up in tears.

    What I admire most about my grandfather is that he is such a hard-working, servant of a man. Old people these days seem to give up and drop out of society, long before there is any physical need to do so. They spend all their time “taking” once they reach 65: they quit their jobs, they even seem to retire from ministry. They indulge their every whim. It is no wonder we start to forget them before they are even gone.

    But my Granddad is so different. His presence is powerful because of it, and he seems much younger than his 70 years to me. He still works at an auto shop three or four days a week. And on Saturdays, he has been known to drive all the way to our home {a good 15 miles} to drop off oranges from the tree in his backyard, and do some pro bono work on the older of our two cars. He and my Grandmother have spent many hours watching our children while Si and I spend some quality time alone, and he loves teaching E. how to fix things. He is always there to give us advice if we are making decisions about something electronic, or need coaching on how to repair something ourselves.

    The last line of the poem that was read aloud after dinner was: Granddad, I want to be just like you. The more I think about it, the more it’s true! I want to still be working hard when I’m 70. I want to be helping the people around me and investing in my husband, children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. The world needs more people like him, people whose lives depict the power of hard work and service, rather than the weakness of sloth and self-centeredness. I wish everyone had a Granddad like mine.

    Get the (almost) weekly digest!

    Weekly encouragement, direct to your inbox, (almost) every Saturday.

    Powered by ConvertKit

    No Comments

    Leave a Reply