Saturday, January 21, 2023

Walking with Grandpa

I wrote this poem in November 2005 in honor of my grandpa's 90th birthday a couple months earlier. As we lost him nearly ten years later, I added a verse today, and also changed the fourth verse from the present tense to the past tense.

Early 80s

Grandpa was a prolific walker. He walked daily, and it was partly due to that practice that he lived so long, nearly making it to 100 (only four months short of it). He challenged us to do the same, and he typed up his walking philosophy for us. I have been working on doing that more lately.

Grandpa's Walking Philosophy

Some of my best memories of Grandpa were walking and running with him. When they visited us in the Philippines in the early 80s, he and I walked from our house to our school. It wasn't all that far, but it was a fair distance, part of that uphill. It's one of my earliest memories. A few years later, we were back in the US and he, my dad, my brother and I went to see the Seattle Sonics play the Golden State Warriors in Seattle. During the game it started pouring, and when it got out, we had to run through it to the car! We were soaked to the bone. In 1994, we went as a family to Hong Kong to teach English to students preparing for a major exam. When we were all together walking through the streets of Kowloon, the rest of us practically had to run to keep up with him, as he was a very fast walker!

He was a World War 2 veteran, and he raised a family of five children on a very tight budget. He pastored at multiple churches, and his legacy lives on around the world. He was my hero.

On we walked
My grandpa and me
Under the brilliant Philippine sun
We were walking to school
An excited little boy and his loving grandfather

On we ran
My grandpa, dad, brother and me
Under an unusually strong Seattle rain
Down the sidewalk from the basketball arena
We piled into the car, soaked.

On Grandpa walked
As we tried to keep up
Through the busy streets of Hong Kong
Grandpa at his normal walking pace
And us younger folks nearly running

On Grandpa walked
Around the block, around the mall, and through life
Leading the way, shining his light
A brilliant example of a life well lived
For his children and for God

On Grandpa dances
On the brilliant streets of gold
In the arms of his beautiful bride and his glorious Savior
His race has been run and he has heard "Well done!"
A hero for the ages

Christmas 2014
Grandpa's 100th and last Christmas
He would graduate to heaven the following May

My college graduation, 2000

No comments:

Post a Comment