My Grandpa, My Friend

Egbert Morris Dodde ~ 10/15/1917 – 08/17/2010

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!

That's me on the far left bottom corner

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.


  • At 2010.08.17 09:11, Word Lily said:

    My grandparents have been in and out of the hospital this summer; Grandpa died a week and a half ago. Your tribute to your grandfather is touching. “Find peace and be out of pain” sounds like a good hope, I’ll hope with you.

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    • At 2010.08.17 09:28, bermudaonion (Kathy) said:

      Jennifer, your lovely tribute brought tears to my eyes. I remember you talking about him and his cribbage boards and cribbage hand just last month. He sounds like quite the charmer!

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      • At 2010.08.17 10:13, Ti said:

        Oh Jennifer, I do hope you get to see him. He sounds like such a wonderful man. I love the “ain’t Dutch” saying. It really gives me an idea of his personality.

        I never had grandparents growing up. I used to envy the relationships that others had with theirs. You are a very lucky girl. Hugs.

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        • At 2010.08.17 10:21, Elle said:

          Aw, Jennifer. What a beautiful tribute. I hope you make it in time to see him. He sounds like an amazing man.

          Sending hugs and good thoughts.

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          • At 2010.08.17 10:34, Jen - Devourer of Books said:

            What a lovely tribute, I’m thinking about you and your family.

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            • At 2010.08.17 10:44, Elisabeth said:

              Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful guy, and a real character. You wrote a great tribute.

              • At 2010.08.17 11:28, Dawn - She Is Too Fond of Books said:

                Jennifer – what a wonderful tribute to a wonderful man! You must have his sense of humor (the euchre counter and your ‘Egbert and Egbertabelle’) 🙂

                I was sorry to read your news this morning — my thoughts are with you and your family.

                • At 2010.08.17 11:33, Zia said:

                  That about brought tears to my eyes. So touching. My thoughts are with your family. It’s always hard to lose someone you are so close too.

                  • At 2010.08.17 12:38, Gwen said:

                    I am sorry for your loss. He sounds like a great grandpa to have had. Mine was special too, but he wasn’t a Dodde, he probably was one of those that wanted to be one:)

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                    • At 2010.08.17 15:56, Jennifer said:

                      Thank you so much, everyone. I really appreciate your kind words.

                      • At 2010.08.17 16:35, Kay said:

                        Jennifer, what a lovely post. Your granddad sounds like such a great guy. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Hugs. Such lovely memories.

                        • At 2010.08.17 16:44, Emily said:

                          What a wonderful man. You truly are blessed to have him for a grandfather! *Huge hugs*

                          • At 2010.08.17 18:43, Yvann said:

                            I have lost two grandparents this year and I know how awful it is, so I really feel for you and your family at this time. I hope you made it in time because I know that brings great comfort, but you have paid your Grandpa a beautiful tribute and as you say, in peace and out of pain is the best place to be.

                            • At 2010.08.17 19:07, Sandy said:

                              Reading this just breaks my heart. I miss my grandparents so much. God love this beautiful guy.

                              • At 2010.08.17 19:50, Michelle said:

                                Love the Tigers shirt. 🙂

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                                • At 2010.08.18 00:33, Florinda said:

                                  Your grandpa sounds like he was a great guy, and you were lucky to have such a wonderful relationship with him. Thanks for sharing some of it with us, and I’m very sorry for your loss.

                                  • At 2010.08.18 15:05, Meghan said:

                                    Jennifer, I’m so sorry for your loss. You’ve written a lovely tribute to an amazing man, he sounds like a fantastic grandpa. I’m thinking about you and your family.

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                                    • At 2010.08.18 20:14, Susan said:

                                      You are very lucky to have a grandfather that you are close to. My grandfather passed when I was a teenager. But I still remember the good times. I also when I was a young kid remember the Tigers. I lived in Michigan when I was a young kid. I hope you get to see your grandfather at labor day weekend. I will keep your grandfather in my prayers. Just keep remembering the good times. The memories are the best.

                                      • At 2010.08.19 19:57, Alyce said:

                                        What a lovely tribute to your grandfather! I’m so sorry for your loss. Grandpas and granddaughters can have such special relationships. I know that I truly appreciated the good times I had with my grandfather, and reading this post reminded me of them.

                                        • At 2010.08.19 20:58, Diana Raabe said:

                                          Nicely done, Jennifer.

                                          • At 2010.08.19 21:17, Sue said:

                                            What a beautiful tribute to your grandfather, and to the loving relationship you shared. You and your family are in my thoughts!

                                            • At 2010.08.20 08:07, Amber Stults said:

                                              What a nice tribute to your Grandpa. You’ve mentioned him on our blog before and I agree he’s someone people aren’t likely to forget.

                                              • At 2010.08.20 13:41, Anna said:

                                                I am so sorry to hear of your loss. This is a beautiful tribute. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man.

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                                                • At 2010.08.22 18:15, Lisa said:

                                                  What a lovely tribute. How lucky you have been to have your grandpa in your life. It’s wonderful to have someone in your life that loves you that much, isn’t it?

                                                  • At 2010.08.24 13:32, Shelley said:

                                                    One of the purposes of writing is to honor the dead.

                                                    • At 2010.08.24 21:40, Jaime said:

                                                      I’m really sorry for your loss, Jen. Grandpas are very special people.

                                                      • At 2010.08.25 11:37, Leave of Absence : literatehousewife.com said:

                                                        […] want to thank all of you for your thoughts and kind words about my Grandfather.  He will always be loved and missed.  I am heading home for his Memorial Service over Labor Day […]

                                                        • At 2010.08.25 13:00, Amy said:

                                                          This is a lovely, witty, wonderful tribute to your Grandfather. What a wonderful man he was. You brought him so much love, happiness and laughter. My thoughts are with you and your family.

                                                          ~ Amy

                                                          • […] just lost her grandfather, and it made me think… She provides such a moving tribute to him on her website that I became a little jealous.  Not for her pain in the loss, of course, but because of the years […]

                                                            • At 2010.08.31 21:00, Michelle said:

                                                              Jennifer, I’m just catching up on my feedreader and saw this post. I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know you are grateful for having had the time you did with your grandfather and this tribute reflects that appreciation and love. My thoughts are with you and your family!

                                                              • […] and hopefully start a tradition of Grandparent to Grandchild. I’ll be sure to keep a copy of my tribute to Grandpa with it so through the generations people will its […]

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