How does your heart hold onto the people you love?
My Grumps left this place called earth, and entered a place called heaven. I searched and searched for a picture of the two of us together, but I could only find one from when I was first born. But, as I searched through pictures, I noticed something important about my grandfather -- his blue and white striped shirts. I realized it’s probably impossible for me to find a picture of my Grumps in anything other than his blue and white shirts.
If I'm honest, thinking about my Grumps and his blue and white shirts makes sadness drip down my cheeks😢.
I’ve spent time thinking about Grumps bringing his shirts to heaven. My heart knows he would want a few of them up there. Maybe it seems kind of silly to think about people bringing shirts to heaven, but when I think of Grumps, I think about how he was defined by those shirts.
The shirt was a preppy style, but my Grumps wasn’t impressed by anything preppy. He liked his blue and white shirts for their suitability for any kind of work he did, and mostly, I think he preferred their softness, and how lovely they smelled fresh out of the dryer. Also, his shirts were very practical and never wrinkled 😉.
I was 5 when I noticed every time I saw my Grumps he was wearing the same kind of shirt. My mum joked it was his uniform, and I thought this meant every grandfather had a standard blue and white shirt they wore when they saw grand kids. It never made my Grumps ordinary in any way to see him in his uniform, instead it reminded me how dependable he was for all of us, and most especially for Gram.
Five years ago we celebrated Gram and Grumps’ golden anniversary. On that day, Grumps fancied up his blue and white shirt by adding a sharp navy blue blazer. I love how happy Gram and Grumps look together in the picture I found, and how they clutched the 5 and 0 my mum made them with pictures representing their 50 years together. If I look super closely, I can see that little twinkle Grumps would get from time to time when he would listen to me talk on and on about something. I like to talk, and Grumps would always pause and listen even when my stories might have been endless 😬. I can see the twinkle in that picture. I know that twinkle is for my Gram.
Gram and Grumps were together 55 years before he went to heaven. I know it’s hard for Gram to imagine her life without Grumps because me too. When I think of Gram, I think of Grumps. And, when I think of Grumps, I think about his blue and white shirts.
Maybe remembering Grumps and his shirts is my heart’s way of saying he’s OK now. You see, my Grumps didn’t run to heaven. He made small, slow, steady steps. He had to remember his shirts. And, he had to make sure Gram was ready and daddy was ready and we were ready. Because that’s the kind of guy Grumps was -- steady and sure, thoughtful and kind. Grumps was like his blue and white shirts -- always, always, always dependable and practical.
So, I’m super hoping Grumps left a few of his shirts behind for us because I just really want one for Christmas. I want one for me and daddy. I want to just wrap up my sad feelings by seeing my daddy in that blue and white shirt. I really can’t think of a better or bigger heartbeep from my Grumps💗.
I hope if you’re reading this and you're missing someone because they’re in heaven, you’ll search for a picture of them, and you’ll feel a heartbeep. Consider that heartbeep a gift from me and my Grumps, Karl Van Ledtje💗.
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Hi, I'm Liv and I am super excited to share my thinking with you!