June 2011 – Remembering Great Grandpa

Spring 2011

One of the gifts of moving here when we did is our kids got to know one of their great grandpas. They had met him on our trips here before, and he had visited our home in Atlanta once, but they were so young that they wouldn’t remember. He was diagnosed with liver cancer, and we all knew it would be a short time before he was no longer with us. He was still teaching at the university, and shortly before his passing was honored at the graduation for teaching there for 50 years and founding and chairing one of the engineering departments! He was an extraordinary man who loved his family, and we all miss him. I always appreciated that Adam’s grandparents always treated me like one of their grandkids (and they had TONS). It meant a lot to me.

Having some notice meant that we were able to spend some time with grandpa and arrange a few activities. He loved the theater and had season tickets at the theater for 50 years. He had half of a row and treated us to some wonderful shows. He rotated through the family taking different people each time. Adam and I saw several great shows with grandpa. All of us went out to dinner before the last play we all went to, which happened to be the last show of the season. At the last minute the whole babysitting arrangement fell apart, and I was ready to send Adam on his own while I stayed home with the kids, but the day before the dinner, I was at a local nursery and giving my name to the sales clerk for a mailing list when this woman turned and said,

“Are you Adam’s wife?
“Um, yes.”
“And you have triplets plus two more?”
“Um…yes.” And I confess that I started to get really weirded out because there are crazy people in this world who stalk blogs of higher order multiple families and they have message boards where they discuss us and our families, and steal pictures and start their own pretend blogs and you just wouldn’t believe what all. Since I knew approximately no one in this state, it was more than a little weird that she would have all of this information.

She turned out to be Adam’s high school ex-girlfriend’s mom, and since Adam and her daughter (and I, kind of) are still long-distance friends, she heard regular updates about us through this blog and Facebook. I’ve met her daughter. We went to a Halloween party at her house long ago. She sends us a Christmas card every year (and if I ever made a Christmas card, I would send her one back). She has an adorable family, and it’s fun to see her family grow from year to year. And so then it wasn’t weird that she knew about our family. She enjoyed keeping up with his (our) life and family. I started breathing again.

Naturally she asked about the family, and the topic of the dinner came up because I was asking if she knew any babysitters since she still lives in the area. That’s when she volunteered to watch the kids. That seems weird, doesn’t it? It really wasn’t. She is a very nice woman who just adored Adam when she knew him during his high school years, and is just as nice and friendly as she can be. Thanks to her, it all worked out so that the whole family could enjoy one last play with grandpa. Talk about serendipity.

Several of us still have those season tickets for the same seats and carry on the tradition. Adam and I love it, and we think of him every time we go.

We were able to spend time with him as a family and get pictures with each of the kids so they can always remember him. Each grandchild got to have a special moment with him.

With our family at the Easter hunt.

Brinlee could sense the emotion in the room and knew something was wrong. It scared her, and she clung to daddy, so we took a picture together. I was fighting back tears myself. It is hard to say goodbye, but we were grateful we had the opportunity.

Getting a little love from Daisy.


Kimball was very attached to Grandpa. It was hard on him, and he has had lots of questions for the last few years.


Caisen with grandpa



Sawyer is very much an analytical thinker like great grandpa, who started the mechanical engineering department at his university and was department chair for many years. Maybe Sawyer will follow in his footsteps!

Grandpa and Daisy the Christmas before at the family party.

Adam and I at the graveside service with Serena.

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