Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Quiet Man

My grandpa died in early 1999. He was a very quiet man. In fact, I hardly knew him. Between very little effort on everyone's part to have a relationship with that set of grandparents and the fact that he didn't talk much it would have been difficult to ever get to know him.

My grandma did a lot of talking for him;) One of Cornbread's favorite (and only) memories of this grandpa was at a family dinner (which was a rare thing). Grandma and Grandpa were sitting at the head of the table, we were sitting at the other end. We hear: "Dad wants the ketchup." We still laugh about that - that grandma did his bidding. We're not certain that Grandpa really even wanted the ketchup!

When he died, we drove in for the wake and the funeral. Admittedly, it was not an extremely emotional event for me. I was more emotional seeing my dad's emotions - he's not a very emotional guy, my dad:) On the extremely rare ocassions that I've seen him cry it immediately causes tears for me.

I recall standing in front of the open casket in the narthex of the church the morning of the funeral. My dad walked up and I told him that he and grandpa had the same hands (they were hand twins... this hand is my hand. this hand is your hand. no wait thats my hand...) There was some sadness at that moment for my dad - I could feel it and see it. I asked him why Grandpa hardly ever spoke. He told me that Grandpa used to say, "If I don't talk, I know what I know and I know what everyone else knows."

Cornbread and I tucked that away and refer to it often. Cornbread often cites my grandpa - who he knew even less than I did - when he talks about how he relates to his clients, his prospects, his colleagues and his competition. In a world where everyone seems to want to hear their own voices, be in power, have their opinion counted it is unusual for someone to sit back and take it in and learn what everyone else knows. Not that either one of us are perfect at it, but we both work on it.

I wonder if my Grandpa drew that lesson from this verse in Proverbs...
Proverbs 10: 14 - The wise accumulate knowledge - a true treasure; know-it-alls talk too much - a sheer waste.

Honestly, I don't think about my grandpa very often. But I read this verse this week and immediately thought of him. I have a few memories of him and although I didn't know him well, the memories make me smile. I consider myself blessed to have been taught something so simple, yet so insightful by a man of very, very few words.


Skooks 2:07 PM  

I have an uncle like this. Maybe not to the absolute extreme, but he is soft spoken and tends to let others do the talking. It has always intrigued me about him. Thank you for sharing this.

Skooks 12:09 AM  

Hey, I gave you a little shout out on my latest blog post. :)

Skooks 12:09 AM  

Hey, I gave you a little shout out on my latest blog post. :)

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