Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Power of a Gentle Grampa

I went to a funeral Monday for a man I admire and learned to work with quite closely and I learned a lesson to pass on to Grampas in waiting, as well as those who are already in the thick of it. Enjoy this heart tugger and what it does to your future behavior.

Clayton Robbins, the accomplished sculpter who built scenery for our musicals: Fiddler on the Roof and Missionary Boxer passed away last Thursday at 90. His family handled all the memorial service assignments, music and speaking.

His daughter told the story of climbing up the drawers of a big chest of drawers when she was 3 or 4. In the top drawer her father had a tin of candies, you know the kind, beautifully sculpted raspberry candies. She had one. She liked it so much she took two more. Half an hour later she had taken five or six and by the end of the day she'd made quite a dent in Clayton's raspberry candy supply.

I didn't know that Clayton had been a traveling salesman selling everything from appliances to school buses, but he had been on the road. When he came back this gentle man did something that influenced her life forever.

When his daughter climbed up to the candy tin, and found a note. It read, "I love you little mouse!" At such a young age, even she was touched. Recalling the moment and showing the very candy tin that she had kept all these years brought her to tears.
That note could have said so many different things. She told the congregation at his funeral Monday that she quickly found a scrap of paper and with her best crayon wrote a note back.
It read: "I love you Daddy mouse." The next day when they saw each other nothing was said. It was understood.

She told us that from then on, she knew that he was always there and always on her side. I thought it was a charming story and thought it just might touch your heart as it touched mine.

What a great lesson for Grampas in Training. JRH

NOTE: Harold Poole, Prisoner of War and Great Grampa Hall of Fame

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