As I was running with my dog Lucky yesterday, the sweet smell of alfalfa, or something like it, reminded me of my Grandpa, a hard working farmer with calloused hands and a work ethic like nobody I have ever known. I remember holding his hand as a little girl wondering why his hands were so rough. They were calloused from long working days in the field providing for his family. Whether it was -40 degrees celcius or +40 degrees celcius he would be up at 5:30 am and most likely would not be home until after dark. He never made a lot of money, but his family always had enough. My Grandma and him lived a simple and humble life. They were not entitled people. They came from a time when you were expected to work hard to earn your money. They didn't throw away what wasn't working, they fixed it. My grandma mended socks, pants and shirts instead of running to the store to buy new ones. People and things were not expendable. You didn't quit your job, assuming you could just find a new one. They weren't obsessed with getting to the top and trampling over others to get there. They honoured each other with all their shortcomings and didn't just give up on their marriage because they tired of one another. They were committed for the long haul--to each other, their work and their family.
My Grandpa wrote a manuscript about his life and as I was looking through it today, I felt proud that I come from such humble beginnings. My Grandpa shared how my Grandma had started making pretty things for their home a month before they got married. She made curtains, bed covers and table clothes. She made her own wedding outfit. My Grandpa worked for months to purchase a tiny wedding band. With any extra money they had left after the wedding, they went to the store and bought garden seeds, a hoe and a rake. They didn't go on a fancy honeymoon, but their anticipation of making a home together was enough. My Grandma was a well educated woman, who had dreams of being a dentist, but love had compelled her to give everything up to become the wife of a cowboy.
I am happy to have come from such hard working people. Sometimes I don't think we honour where we have come from. I am who I am because of grandparents. I value hard work, simplicity, and tenacity. I just wanted to take a few moments today to honour my grandparents. I am so happy they are in heaven now, enjoying each other once again.
I dedicate this song, one my mom listens to often, to my Grandpa a hard working cowboy.