The other day I went to Silver City with Patti and she went into Walgreens while I waited. I was looking at the traffic going by, and saw a familiar red and white blazer with a step side pass. It was granddads old blazer... I don’t think I have seen it since the late mid to late 90s, but it took me back. I got to thinking about him, and the times we had together. Here is an entry from my journal that I wrote September 14th, 1996.
It has been a Number of months since Granddad died, and it seems like a think about him a little every day. I don’t know, I loved grandma every bit as much, but I find myself thinking of granddad more. I think it was because granddad and I did more things together, especially in those first few months after grandma died. From the time I was a small child I remember doing things with granddad, and enjoying being with him. We would ride together, go hunting, fishing, sightseeing, he and grandma would take me camping quite a bit.
I remember when I was 5 years old, I had just started school (I was nearly 6) in August of 1969. One day mom drove up after school picked me up and asked if I wanted to go camping with grandma and granddad. I had never been camping before that, and it sounded like fun. Yes, I went. We drove to a place near the Grant and Catron county line, and turned off into the river bed (big or little dry), and followed it for a mile or two till we came to the spot where big dry and little dry come together, and run into the Frisco river (San Francisco River).
I don’t know how long I was there, but I had the time of my life, literally. 25 years ago (41 now), and it is still a clear picture in my mind. Fishing (as well as an impatient 5 year old could), swimming (my first time in deep (3’) water), and sleeping and eating outside. The scene is a beautiful one in my mind. It was right after the rainy season, and everything was green and beautiful. Norm, Terry and I slept on Army cots around the campfire, while grandma and granddad slept in the bed of their Ford pickup.
One night granddad went to bed early, and I went to lie down next to him in the back of the pickup. He told me there was nothing better than lying out under the stars, and looking at the heavens. He then said something like “I’m not a religious man, but I believe in God, and out here is where I feel the closest to him.” He pointed to the stars and said, "after looking at that, you couldn’t tell me there is no God."
I’m sure that I had heard about God, as a matter of fact, I attended Sunday school regularly at Ft. Sam prior to that. However, never in my life to that point, had I ever really considered God, and never did it have such an impact on me as it did the night my granddad bore his testimony of the existence of God. He wasn’t trained in religion, although I know he went to church with Grandma Olivia. He wasn’t a churchgoer until later on in life, but there was never any question of his belief or faith in God.
As I lay in the back of that ol’ Ford, I stared at the stars and considered God for the first time. That night I don’t think there was a moon because the stars were highly visible, and they filled the sky. I stared at the stars till I fell fast asleep, and woke up about dawn on my cot. Thank you granddad for helping me gain a foundation, and belief that an “unseen God” is not a myth, and if we really look, we can see him.