On October 31st, 2015 we drove away from the cemetery in Kincaid, KS after saying goodbye to the greatest man I’ve ever known, my Grandpa.
Earl Roberts’ began most mornings at sunrise, with an old a.m. radio playing from atop the refrigerator, he sipped his coffee and played a game of solitaire. Read the local news paper, and headed out to the fields where he’d work until sundown. A farmer, a father, a husband and so much more than words or titles can express. A brilliantly quiet man who had a genuine appreciation for the simple things in life … things most of us take for granted. He spent every day planting crops and raising cattle for survival, and to provide for his family. When the days work was done he still took time to play ball with the kids, show us how to read an old (paper) map or drive a tractor (among many other things). He could calmly teach a rebellious teenager the difference between right and wrong, time and time again. Earl Gene was the kind of man who could fix anything with a smile on his face, and would drive for hours just to watch the grandkids play baseball or perform on stage; if it was important he was there. He liked cherry pie on holidays and vanilla ice cream after dinner, and waited up for the 10 o’clock news every night just to fall asleep in the chair before it began.
The man knew how to laugh, how to have good fun, and how to make an impact on the people he loved when we needed him the most.
Earl was the hardest working person many people in this world have ever known, and we never once heard him complain, ever … about anything.
What a difference the little things make. No nonsense, no noise, just hold a silent appreciation for what passes by and with grace accept whatever comes next. No complaints. Just do what needs to be done, no matter what.
It’s all of these little things he did that went unnoticed in the moments as they happened. It seems even after he’s passed on … grandpa is still teaching an important lesson.
Today is January 3, 2016 and it would have been Grandpa Earl’s 80th birthday. While saying goodbye is hard, I see you always, I hold you dearly. You make remembering all the wonderful moments easy.
Happy Birthday Grandpa, I love you.