July 29th, 2019, around 2 a.m., my grandfather passed from this world into eternity. He was 83 years old and was blessed to have lived so many years. He had Alzheimers, but it was his failing health and pancreatic cancer that took his life. With what seemed to be just an upset stomach, Gramps began to fade and was gone within two weeks.
Carl Hockensmith was my only grandfather. My father’s father died when my dad was only 19. He was an alcoholic and an abusive man, so my Gramps was my one and only my entire life.
He wasn’t a complicated man. A simple man in the sense that he was easy to please, easily amused, and never anxious about anything. Farming in the hills of Kentucky had been his life. The rawness of manual labor and working in God’s nature was where he felt most comfortable.
As I remember my grandfather, I want to remember what he stood for and his outlook on life. Gramps often said, “No use in fussin’, so you might as well laugh”. And boy, did he live by that! My Gramps always had a witty remark and humorous comment. He loved to laugh at everything…even his own jokes! He didn’t get offended and happily received banter and play.
He chose to laugh instead of cry, smile instead of frown, to be friendly instead of isolated, to have joy instead of sorrow. He loved going to funerals, because it gave him a chance to share stories and to see old friends. If only we could have an attitude like that!
No matter how stressful a situation or tough a place I find myself in, I choose to be like Gramps. I will find the laughter and humor in the most disappointing or discouraging circumstances. I will not dwell on negativity. I will not let anxiety and fear steal the joy in my soul.
Proverbs 17:22 – A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.
Philippians 4:4 – Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice.
I love you, Gramps. Thank you for the countless giggles and laughs, the goofy times, and care-free moments. I will remember that life is not that serious…That there is something to laugh about in everything.