For some reason I have been thinking about my Grandpa Spencer (my mom's dad) a lot lately. He passed away 13 years ago last month and I miss him.
I lost both of my Alldredge grandparents in 1983 while I was still in High School. And so for many years all I had were my Spencer Grandparents.
I love my Grandpa so much. He was a great man. He was a World War II Veteran, serving in the Army in New Guinea. He owned his own trucking company and was a miner. He owned many acres of land that he farmed in and around Delta & Hinckley, Utah. He was a very hard worker. He was a lover of animals especially Sheep. I loved going to visit Grandpa and Grandma and helping them with their farm chores. There were cows to milk, a horse to ride, chickens to feed and collect eggs from, and bum lambs that needed to be hand fed bottled milk. This was my favorite thing to do. Oh, how my Grandpa loved his sheep! I also remember many times that I would go out with my grandpa on his tractor or hay bailer to cut and bail the hay. I really have many fond memories of my Grandpa.
He had a stroke back in the 80's that made him have give up everything he loved. He couldn't work anymore so he had to give up his trucking company. He farmed as long as he could while my uncles were younger and could help, but once they moved on with their lives he had to give that up too. Gradually, he had to sell off all of his farm animals and land. Oh how hard this must have been for Grandpa. One day he had it all and was able to do just about anything to being instantly trapped in a body that would no longer allow him to do these things.
He still enjoyed driving his little truck into town every morning to share a cup of coffee with his friends and to bum around town for a while. And because he was forced to slow down, it allowed all of his children and grandchildren the opportunity to spend time with him and get to know him more than we probably would have been able to do had he not had that stroke. We had many years full of wonderful memories made with him in it.
A couple of my fondest memories of him are: One year during the deer hunt. I was going with grandpa and we were walking on one side of the mountain ridge while others were in other areas. The snow began falling really heavy and it was really hard to get around. I think it was getting difficult to navigate and determine where we needed to go to get back to camp so grandpa found a huge pine tree that we were able to get under and sit there where it was dry and waited for the snow to taper off so that we could go back. I remember being scared and grandpa helping me not be scared while talking about the beauty of the snow and the stillness aroud us. He also ensured me that we would be fine and would be able to find our way back to camp.
My daughter Shellise will always remember this about her grandpa-grandpa... that he used to call her "my little red head". You wouldn't know it now, but she was born with the most beautiful auburn colored hair. Everytime he would see Shellise he would say "Hows my little red head"? She, too, loved him. She only new him for 2-1/2 years before he passed on but she remembers this.
I am really greatful that I still have my Grandma Spencer, who I love dearly. I am sure she has really missed her husband, lover, and friend so much these past 13 years. I know that the day will come that she will go on to be with him. For now, I cherish the time I have with her.
My Grandpa, Douglas J. Spencer, died in Oct 1996 from complications of falling and breaking his hip. He was surrounded by all of his family. It was a sad, but also spiritual and peaceful time. Grandpa... I miss you so much and I can't wait to see you again.