21 Days of gratitude: Day 4, Grandparents

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Since November is ( for those who live in the U.S.) the month of Thanksgiving, I want to take the next three weeks to make daily posts about things I am grateful for. There was an old hymn I heard growing up called “Count your blessings”. So since I believe gratitude begets blessings, (and we could use a little more of that,) Come with me as we go on this journey of thankfulness. 

Today I am grateful for my grandparents. All four of my grandparents were very diverse people. This picture here was taken on my graduation from Fort Hays State University and as far as I know, is the only picture of me with both my grandmothers. In fact, the lady on the right my Grandma Wyss is still alive and very active and alert. How many 56yr olds can say that? (Thank you, God).

My maternal Grandmother the one on the left, left me and the world way too early. i miss her very much. She was a real fiesty lady and had a zest for life. She was very outgoing and could and would make friends with anyone. She had real spirit and humor. I didn’t obviously know it at the time this picture was taken but the following year would be her last. Her light is missed.

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The future Globetrotting Grandpa with his Grandmas. This was taken in 1987 when I graduated from college. 

My maternal grandfather died when I was pretty young and my paternal Grandfather had a debilitating illness and spent his life institutionalized so sadly my memories of both of them are pretty limited.

My paternal “Step- grandfather” (although in a million years I would NEVER consider him as such he was always my actual and true grandfather in my eyes) was a man named Robert Wyss, and was probably the most honorable man I have ever known. When I was a real little boy, I thought my grandfather was John Wayne literally. I couldn’t understand why he was on TV and in Onaga Kansas at the same time. But he was like that, a taciturn, strong man’s man type of guy who loved to hunt and fish. But was also an avid reader and very kind and thoughtful. He was able to balance masculinity with compassion, not an easy thing.

One would have to be strong though to be married to my Grandma Wyss. She is tough but tough in a steel magnolia kind of way. A real class act. I am grateful for her largesse and all of her exceedingly kind and supportive cards and letters over the years and the calm centering presence she provides. No matter how stressful and frightening the world became, just being in her house with her seemed to make things right.

So thank you to my Grandmas’s Wyss and Gipson. My grandfathers Wyss, Gipson and Corcoran. And also my great grandmother’s Fairbanks, Polis and Corcoran who time with me were very brief but are still a part of my memories. I carry a part of you in me always.

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