WARNING: For those of you expecting a humorous, satirical essay… look away now. This is a sappy, sentimental blog post dedicated to one of the best guys I know…
I’m not talking about these awesome sneakers.
I’m also not talking about this tennis player from the 1970s, although I can understand why you’d think that… (because his name is also Stan Smith).
I’m talking about this guy…
He’s my Grandpa and he’s turning 90 this week!
He was born in 1924… before World War II, rock n’ roll, the moon landing, and the internet!
Yes, at 90 years YOUNG, he may be considered an “antique”, but he’s still sharp as a tack and has more energy than people half his age!
When people meet my Grandpa they immediately love him. Not only is he friendly, kind, compassionate, warm and incredibly wise… (this list could go on and on and on), he’s got this indescribable brightness in his eyes… I’m pretty sure he’s an angel.
After my Grandfather’s mother passed away in childbirth, his Grandmother Annie stepped in to raise him. Annie was an incredibly strong woman with a gift for poetry. My Grandfather wrote about her life in his book, The Life and Lines of a Pioneer.
An excerpt from one of her poems, “An Angel Unawares” seems fitting:
As he sat unfolding the scriptures
And told of God’s goodness and grace,
A light of reflected glory
Shone on his dear old face
The theme of God’s goodness and mercy
Was the one he loved to record,
No teacher on earth has taught him
But I knew that he walked with the Lord.
Like my Great-Grandmother Annie (and me!), my Grandfather is a writer. He shared his wisdom and experience with several published books, including Coping with Life Victoriously.
I have learned (and continue to learn) so much from my Grandpa Smith. Our weekly phone call is always the highlight of my day, as he continues to be such a great source of advice, encouragement, love, and support.
One of the things I love most about my Grandpa is his laugh… it’s always genuine and generous… kind of like him.
My Grandpa has had a fascinating life… he served for almost twenty years as a pastor before becoming a probation officer. He went on to work as a prison chaplain, before eventually returning to pastoring a church. He devoted his life to others, and continues to bless others wherever he is.
He’s my mentor, my guide, my hero and my friend.
He’s also an amazing gardener… check out that pumpkin!
Young Stan and young Elsie with even younger Linda!
FaceTiming with Gramps!
My mom and I hugging our special dads.