And then, 28 years ago this week, my life was changed forever. On April 22, 1975, my grandfather, Cleo Jackson, passed away suddenly. He was 64 years of age, and had suffered a heart attack. The reason it hurt me so badly was because we were so close in our relationship, at least by today’s standards. I would easily see him four or five times a week, even as my teen years unfolded. In fact, the evening before he passed away, he was at our house most of the afternoon and evening.
Obviously, each year around this date, I think of him. And as I do, I thank God for his impact on my life. Being only 13 when he died, I had no way of fully appreciating the influence he had on me. Now, at age 51, I am a bit more qualified to assess that. This much I can say. He was not an educated man, as he only had a third grade education. Yet, in retrospect, I can now see that he taught me so much more than I ever realized!
It is said that values are more often caught by children than they are taught to children. That being the case, I will forever be in debt to my grandfather for what all he threw at me! Clearly, I bear his spiritual, moral, and ethical stamps on my soul, my heart, and my life; and I do all of this proudly.
My fervent prayer is that God will give me the ability to fill his shoes. With each passing day, I see not only how difficult, but also how vital, that task truly is!
Because of these things, I also take time today to honor my grandfather today. I have chosen to do so by posting a wonderful poem in his memory - one written by Mr. James M. Carr and titled Treasure Remembered. I hope you enjoy it.
For all the stories that were never to be told,
Back to a time when I was a boy so long ago,
I knew a man whose kindness touched the hearts of many,
And he would often be the first to lend you his last penny,
Yes his heart was pure gold forged from out of love,
Right from the hands of the Almighty who sits high above,
There were times I must of drove him crazy as if he were my toy,
With all my “want to’s” and “why not’s” when I was a boy,
He loved and cared for all those that he knew,
His family, friends and most of all you,
Many happy memories I carry within my heart,
Vowed never to forget and never to be apart,
As a boy I would look up to this man with great awe,
For you see he was my friend and he is my Grandpa.
Cf. also: www.FamilyFriendPoems.com