Sunday, June 13, 2010

Bonus Grandparents

I'm always saddened when I meet someone who grew up without the close love of Grandparents. I just can't imagine it. Not only was I lucky enough to have 3/4ths of my grandparents through all my growing years. I had Jack and June . . . my bonus Grandparents.

June was my Grandpa Bud's sister. I never met my father's dad, who passed when my dad was just 19. And Jack and June never had any children of their own, so I guess it was only natural that they fill the Bassett side of grandparent void. I'm sure nothing can ever really replace meeting my Grandpa Bud, but these two sure treated me like their own adorable granddaughter.

I even remember calling Jack "Grandpa" a time or two. I always apologized, a little embarrassed -- kind of how a kid feels when they call their teacher "mom." I never slipped up on "Aunt June" though. She was the strict, serious type. It's funny to me that I could catch that vibe through all the banana splits she served me. And I don't think we ever left their house without June placing a five-dollar bill in our pocket. Maybe it was the threat of, "If you tell your mother I gave you this money for cleaning my basement, I'll never pay you again. And you'll still have to clean my basement!" that taught me quickly that she meant business. Close attention to manners was a necessity while in the basement with June.

Admiration and joy were the more commonly felt terms when lounging in the living room with Jack. He was a man of few words. He'd always take an interest in my doings, but unless I asked about his growing up years he never shared much in return. I remember looking at one of his old yearbooks with him once. I was so proud to have a family member in love with Basketball -- even though he had on those ridiculously short shorts and wasn't actually even a blood relative, so it's not like I had his talent or anything. I just loved that he was a star athlete and a natural musician all at the same time. I always figured he had been one of the best sax players in his days.

As a grown man, he never said a bad word about anyone. He never complained about the aches and pains I'm sure riddled his diabetic body. More shockingly, he never complained about all of June's complaints. ;) He truly was a man of high character and strong love. He must have stood like a grizzly bear over me, but I always thought of him as more of a Winnie the Pooh bear.

Ever since I watched the funeral procession take my Uncle away, I knew I would name my first son after him. Naturally, I've been thinking about him a lot more these past few months. This just seems like simple reassurance to me that he spent some quality time with my little guy before he came down here.

Jack was the first loved one I ever saw leave this world, and the thought of his sweet spirit ceasing to exist was just impossible to my mind. I knew right when I said my goodbyes to him, while he lay unconscious in a hospital bed, that there was no way the goodness that was Jack Reid would ever end.

2 comments:

Scott and Claudia said...

You made me cry like a baby. What a wonderful tribute to Uncle Jack! He was a favorite of everyone.
I'm pretty sure little Reid got plenty of attention from Auntie June on the other side as well. Perhaps she's taught him how to make your kitchen shine!!
Missin' my baby girl. You are so sweet.
Love, Pa

Scott and Claudia said...

I was sitting right here when he read it and I am hear to tell you he did not cry like a baby!! Tho he did read it to me and it did bring tears to our eyes. (You know how you Bassetts like to exagerate!) A beautiful post sis. Loved it and love the Reids! Mom

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