A girl is lucky when she has a Grandpa she’s always loved to joke around with like a friend. I’m one of those. My Grandpa Dodde is 92 years old. I’ve always loved to play tricks on him and tease him. He did the same. I would run away from him instead of giving him a hug when we went to visit up in Ludington, but I always really wanted to get caught. He always played along. As I grew older, we used to talk Tiger baseball. He was with me when I went to my first Major League game. He certainly helped me learn to love the underdog.
He always promised a grand to any of his kids a who named their child after him. With a name like Egbert, it should come as no shock that he kept his money. When I was in high school and had to carry around eggs, I thought I might earn some money by naming them after him – Egbert and Egbertabelle. I got two bucks. LOL!
Grandpa is a proud Dutchman. He’s found of saying “If you ain’t Dutch, you ain’t much!” I can also remember him saying:
Jennifer, there are two kinds of people in this world – Doddes and those who wish they could be Doddes.
That pretty much sums up his personality and his sense of humor.
The last time the Tigers were headed to the World Series, I called him from the airport. It was his birthday – exactly one week to the day after mine. His hearing got really bad, but I wanted to call anyway. When he picked up the phone, I said, “Grandpa, aren’t you glad I got the Tigers into the World Series for your birthday?”
I spoke a little louder, “Grandpa, aren’t you glad I got the Tigers into the World Series for your birthday?”
Even though I felt like everyone waiting at my gate was looking at me already, I yelled while carefully enunciated, “Grandpa, aren’t you glad I got the Tigers into the World Series for your birthday!?!”
That’s my sister. Just thinking about that cracks me up. It’s all kinds of fun trying to kid a kidder who’s hard of hearing.
Most recently when I’ve traveled home I played cribbage with Grandpa. I love to play cards, but it’s safe to say that I’m cribbage challenged. Grandpa is a pro. In his spare time, he loved to make cribbage boards of any shape and size. He retired from his work in tool and die when I was just a little girl, but he loved to create things in his shed. He once had the perfect cribbage hand. In my favorite cribbage board, he had the little newspaper write up from that hand and he decorated it with that combination of mini cards. I think he always beat me. If I ever won, it was because he was honest when he helped me count my cards. He also made little things to keep count during Euchre. The counter he made me has this beautiful horse’s ass on it. What a way to show how much you care… LOL!
Last week Monday Grandpa was admitted to the hospital. His kidneys were failing. They got his function to start returning at a high price to his comfort. Grandpa and Dad decided together that they wouldn’t ever catheterize him again. He was on the upswing and joking around with the nurses toward the end of the week (if you were his waitress or his nurse, I’m sure you never forgot this character). I was able to talk to him on the phone last week and tell him that I love him. He knew who I was and started talking about the Tigers with me. He is ready to go, so he wasn’t necessarily as happy to hear that he was improving as I was – especially since the Tigers have let him down as the season has gone on. I told him he was “too Dutch to die” and he laughed. I bought my tickets to fly home for Labor Day. Unfortunately, he has taken a downturn Sunday night and is now on comfort care. His vital signs are all very strong, so there is a chance I may still get to see him. What I really want is for him to find peace and be out of pain. He deserves it.
Here’s to you, Grandpa. You’ve blessed my life and gave me so much. My love is with you always.