"That pin has a strong magnet on the bottom of it," Grandpa said as he shook his head and pointed towards the 9-pin. "Every time I get up there to bowl, they turn that magnet on."
I laughed and responded, "Grandpa, you just have to throw the ball extra hard so you can knock off the magnet." He took my advice and grunted as he threw the ball with all the strength in his 81 year-old body. His thumb made the sound of a cork popping off a bottle when the ball left his hand. The ten-pounder flew down the lane about 3 feet and plopped hard on the wood. The plopping sounds continued and the ball looked like it was a small pebble skipping across a glassy lake. Sure enough, it slammed into the 9-pin and granted him a spare.
"Grandpa, you did it! You knocked off the magnet!" I shouted.
"No, I think they just decided to trick me and turn the magnet off this one time," He confessed in his soft, low voice while shaking his head and grinning widely. After the game, he treated my sister and me to dinner at Chuck-a-rama. We blew through our straws to push a torn napkin piece on the table. Whoever blew it on the opposide side of the table first, won. Grandpa was no match against Patricia and me, but he put up a strong fight. After our victory, Grandpa laughed softly and tears began to pool behind his glass lenses. His chin and lower lip trembled as he quietly mumbled, "You two are very special to me, very special."
That was the first of many daddy-daughter dates we had with Grandpa after Dad died. Although he frequently told us that we were special to him, I will never forget that moment on that day because it was the beginning of an incredible relationship. I had the opportunity of editing and publishing my Grandpa Major's autobiography. Having the opportunity to read and re-read his story has truly been remarkable. His example of integrity and perseverance is evident through-out his life's story. There never was a magnet or obstacle too strong for him to knock off. Commend him for his success and he will confess that is was God who did it, not him. His simple wisdom is truly stunning; his in depth testimony is quiet, humble, and powerful. I am honored to be his granddaughter. He will always be very special to me, very special.
I also want to include my sweet Grandma Major. I just love and adore her as well. She has taught me how to work hard and not complain. My grandma has terrible spinal spurs that cause her excruciating pain. Although it is extremely debilitating, she works through it and serves me grandpa, her children, and grandchildren. Up until this year, she cooked a full thanksgiving dinner. She'd work on it for days and it was always delicious. Even though it would have been easy for her to quite and say, "I can't cook anymore, I'm in way too much pain." My grandma also has the faith of a giant. She is always praying for her posterity. She loves us all and cares about our lives. I love my grandparents so much. I can't imagine not having them here on earth. I will miss them so much when they pass. Lucky for me, their equal stubbornness has been keeping them around (neither one of them want to leave the other alone). My grandparents have been married for 70 years. That is so amazing to me. Their relationship is one John and I hope to have when we reach our 90's as well.
Grandma and Grandpa, Thank you for being such amazing examples of hard work, endurance, and faith. I love you deeply and will always remember you as my very special grandparents.