January 24, 2007

Happy Birthday Uncle Barbe! (a.k.a. Grandpa)

Maxine, Barbe & me

Today my Uncle/Grandpa Barbe turns 82 years young! This is one very special man in my life. God originally gave him to me as a great uncle, he is my Papaw's brother. However, he & his lovely bride of many years (he'll tell me exactly how many years, days and hours after he reads this) have just recently agreed to adopt me as their grand-daughter. A girl, no matter her age, always needs a grandpa. And, since my Papaw passed away in May 2005, he is the perfect substitute.

If you could only meet this kind, gentle, extremely organized man. He is truly amazing. He's such a joy to converse with. We had the opportunity to stop by his N.C. home this summer while we were on vacation. Oh, the stories he can tell! His memory is as sharp as a tack. I would love the opportunity to just sit and listen to him for days...all the while committing every word he utters to memory. See his pipe? Well, that's his trademark. It smells so delicious. Since I was a wee tiny girl, the smell of any pipe has always carried with it memories of him. You'll hardly ever see him without it really.
Look at him here...wasn't he handsome? He was a Yoeman in the U.S. Navy a few years back. He couldn't have been better suited for a job. A Yoeman keeps records for the entire ship. This would truly be his calling. He still keeps records of his records. He has kept a journal every single day since his daughter, Susan, was born in 1960. Can you imagine? How fun would it be to have the ability to relive any day for the past 47 years? Want to know what he was doing on April 22, 1978....give him a second and he can tell you.
Oh, and what about this picture? Yep, that's the exact same uniform that he wore when he was active duty. I don't think he's gained an ounce since he was 18 years old. Doesn't he look dapper? Now you see why Aunt/Grandma Maxine snatched him up! By the way, that's a really interesting story he shared with me during our visit.

Maxine, Barbe & Susan (their daughter)

The truly amazing thing is how much he looks like my Papaw! I never really saw it before (and you won't either in his picture), until the day of my Papaw's funeral. As I walked into the church for the service, Uncle Barbe was in the foyer to greet me. Instantly it hit me, the resemblance was amazing. He is exactly what Papaw looked like after his illness had taken away some of his weight. He gave me the biggest hug and I didn't want to let go. He was the closest thing I had left to a Papaw. Since then I've just felt this extra special bond with him. I only wish we lived closer so we could visit more often. His frequent emails are always encouraging, but his hugs are a lot warmer.

Even though the majority of you will never have the opportunity to meet this noble man, will you say a little blessing for him anyway on his special day? He's a blessing to all those who know him and he deserves the best birthday ever. So, Happy Birthday Grandpa!!

Hugs & Kisses,
Shane :)

*More posts honoring my "Grandpa" -- missparker.vox.com & SusieWrites!

4 comments:

  1. Shane, I can't tell you how much I loved this post and how beautifully you captured the spirit of a man we both think the world of. But honestly Shane, did you have to point out that I am practically 47 years old??? :-) Great job, cuz. I know my daddy loved it and it was perfect.

    With love,

    Susie

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  2. Shane, that was a beautiful post you wrote about OUR grandfather. He is a wonderful man, and I'm happy to share him with you.

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  3. Anonymous4:13 AM

    As a French visitor who had "the opportunity to meet this noble man", I can only agree with your great post. Knowing Barbe and Maxine is a true blessing. Thanks, Shane, for capturing with talent the feelings of many people who love them.
    Michel

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  4. Jim Cook6:31 PM

    I agree 100%

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