That is what Love is, friends, and I reckon I shall work on doing that for anyone, let alone everyone, for the rest of my life. . .
He spent his life entirely full of joy. . .and making everyone happier for having known him.
What he owned or how little he had in material things had no bearing on him. He lived always so full of joy, it was beyond my understanding.
I do not have to tell anyone how rare that is, I suspect.
There is no accomplishment, level of fame or numbers of belongings he could have accumulated to hold a candle to the value of that joy.
He never left that you had not laughed until you had tears and felt more valuable than before he had come.
He couldn't be ignored or forgotten.
He was a grand story teller and life long lover of horses.
Much like me, in that way.
Actually, of all the things that define me, those things that really matter to me or that I like most about myself came from only him.
We had so many epic adventures, he and I.
So few granddaughters ever experience a grandfather in such a way.
From the time I could say "horse", I followed him around when he came to visit, asking him to buy my a pony.
And so he did. He bought me little stud ponies from this auction and that auction. . . across 3 states.
Well, let me be honest, he bought those untrained stud ponies because he didn't have much money. He worked doing what he enjoyed, not doing all the things he easily could have to make more money and live less happy. So those little stud ponies were mean and cheap, and they were priceless to me.
He took me to horse shows. He took me to horse races. When I was 12 and 13, we spent the first Saturday in May at Louisville, Ky in the mud, the blood and the beer of the infield at Churchill Downs. He let me bet on the races, and we always lost because we went for the middle of the road odds and best name. He told me we'd come back for Mint Julep when I was older. And We did that, too, with my cousin, Katie and great aunt Ruth.
Years later, when I could no longer support what horse trading and racing meant, he understood and moved to asking me about what new horse I had in the rescue every single week.
From him, I learned the way to weave an enthralling tale that is bigger than life, and yes, a bit embellished for affect with hand signals thrown in for humor, too.
He was my biggest fan, and he was everyone's biggest fan.
Most importantly, in the greatest lesson of all, He did not love me or believe in my "greatness" because I am great, because I agreed with him on everything or because I fit into a mold he defined beforehand. He loved me in an epic way and believed I was great because that is what loving someone meant.
That was the end of it.
And everyone else has fallen short in that way. The way that matters. That is what Love is, friends, and I reckon I shall work on doing that for anyone, let alone everyone, for the rest of my life.