**Post Edits. How could I have forgotten to include these things?
I like to see a man proud of the place in which he lives. I like to see a man live so that his place will be proud of him. ~Abraham Lincoln
The quote above embodies my dad in many ways in which I hope to adequately illustrate in this, his birthday tribute.
My Earliest Memories of You:
Me and the boys wrestling with you on the living room floor on a Sunday afternoon.
The way you brushed back your mustache with your hand when you were thinking or after eating. And to go along with that, (this is not exactly my memory, but a story Mom told me over and over) I was still a toddler when you decided to shave your mustache. When I saw you without it I cried because I didn’t recognize you. You grew it back and didn’t shave it again until after the turn of the century.
I didn’t watch M*A*S*H with you because I knew what was going on in the show, I watched it because I loved to hear you laugh and laugh.
My Fondest Memories:
Childhood – Fishing on the 4th of July. Taking me out on a dad / daughter date to Pizza Hut and Baskin Robbins. Giving me the handkerchief from your back pocket to soak up the blood from my cracked open head and then buying me a Strawberry Shortcake doll after the stitches.
Teaching me about the world around us–To appreciate its beauty and never tire of being fascinated by it. To catch and fillet a fish. To observe and be curious about your surroundings. To not be afraid of strange creatures, but instead respect them.
**When you had the helicopter pilot you worked with land in our very own yard and take us all for a ride. Who else gets that childhood memory?
Exhibit A: Showing your grandson a lizard. This scene has been repeated countless times.
Exhibit B: Me holding a snake at a reptile store. The first time I held one was after you spotted a snake while driving on a desert road and stopped to show us kids what a snake looks like up close.
Fondest Memories from Adulthood– Riding bikes around Staheikin to see waterfalls. One on one conversations. Calling me up and taking me to lunch as you were passing through town. Living with you after my divorce and feeling your protection, a reminder of what it should be like to have the priesthood in my home.
Proof That We Chose to be Father and Daughter in Pre-Earth Life (or maybe you just rubbed off on me):
We both love Jazz music, dislike like the lime-light, don’t feel a need to fill empty space with words just because it’s there, love our country fiercely, enjoy a good espionage story, have a great love of outdoor adventures, get completely enthralled in a nature show.
Yeah, I’m pretty sure it’s all your fault.
What I Admire Most About You:
Your intense desire to obey because it’s the right thing to do. For this everyone who knows you will say, “Now, Ben Grimes is a man of great integrity.”
Dedication and perfectionism; you work until you get it right or until there is no more time.
Your love of America and fulfilling your duty to stand up for a country foreordained by God.
**That you’ve passed on the love of your Georgia heritage through the form of Collard Greens, Grits, Hush Puppies, and Corn Bread (NOT the sweet kind).
You excel at everything you do–engineering, photography, building a Rube-Goldberg Machine for your kid’s Physics project (I’m not saying which kid), camping, creating things from buildings to art to photo kiosk displays. Who can forget setting the bar for scouting so high that the same hasn’t been achieved since. Oh, and those awards like being voted Surveyor of the Year and many others in your career.
I admire the way you take care of your family–The way you observe the tire tread on their car or any other feature that may be a possible safety hazard; advising them of weather conditions whenever they may be traveling; providing for their needs and wants with unconditional love; tending grandkids; raising a red flag to make sure they’ve thought through their big decisions.
And, lastly, your kids will forever say how grateful we are that you loved, honored, and supported our mom.