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I remember when...

In life, we all have role models or hero's that we look up to. People that make us feel special, secure, challenge us or provide us with lessons and examples that we attempt to live our life by.

I remember

When my hand could barely reach all the way around the index finger of my grandfathers hand. He would always tell me I was getting bigger as my grip grew and became stronger. When I was young this is how he would take me places. By letting me hold that one finger. Secure enough to know he was there, yet not coddled over or in tow. Security... its important when you are a kid.

I was his first grandchild and we were very close. He attended every birthday I had. He and my grandmother were always present in my life as a child, teen and young adult. I learned so much from him. He graduated from OU in 1922 as Salutatorian in Business and Finance. He worked for the Burrows company for years. Later in life he invented the pressure valve for oil wells and the high-pressure wand used in coin operated car-washes. He dabbled in building and construction and retired at the ripe old age of 50 so he could focus on his family and grand kids.

I remember

That as a kid I would hang out with him. He took me to the stock market, told me how business worked, taught me about the value of money, credit and why its important to have some. He would proudly introduce me to his friends at the bank. I always felt older and walked a little taller when I was around him. I can only recall twice in my entire life when I upset him. There are few events other than those two times that have generated more tears. His unconditional love, support and acceptance was so very important to me.

I remember

When I would visit in the summers as a kid he would have projects for US to do. Painting the fence out back, fixing things for my grandmother... odds and ends. These weren't projects for me to watch, these were projects for me to DO. Always beside me mentoring, whispering in my ear.... hold the brush loosely, use more paint, smaller fluid strokes for even coverage. I learned and thrived in this environment. To this very day, my mother and father (neither of which are very handy) are amazed at the things I do in my garage or around my house. I remind them they did pay for my education in Architecture and if I could design buildings I could build them or fix them. The truth was, my grandfather taught me. What he didn't teach he instilled the confidence in me to try and do on my own. Always there whispering in my ear, providing the gentle guidance I needed.

I remember

When I wanted to take up model trains at about 12. It wasn't my dad who did this with me, but my grandfather. My dad was very poor when he was a kid, and he had a work ethic like no other. He worked 6 days a week on his business and he wanted to provide for his family better than his father did for his. So he worked. With no formal education to speak of, he and his two brothers grew up to be VERY successful. My grandfather always respected my dad. Since my dad's real father left them when he was very young, my grandfather acted more like a father to him than a father-in-law. They were close. When I was bothered or upset about not seeing my dad (he left real early and worked real late) it was my grandfather who reminded me that he was doing it right and taking care of his family. Mentoring me... teaching me the values I would carry on in life.... and eventually pass along to my son.

I remember

When he would send me letters, hand written telling me how proud he was of me, and how much he and my grandmother would love to see me. After all Lubbock was only two hours away from Midland. How he gently reminded me I was welcome any time. (to this very day, I regret not spending more of that time with them while I was there). I remember his persistent support, faith in me and his guidance. Strong when he needed to be, gentle at all other times. Teaching me, when to be firm, when to be fair and when to be kind.

I remember

When he held my son for the first time. The only time he ever saw him. I remember the one picture I have of him with my son at my parents house. The dreams I had of having this amazing man do for my son what he did for me and having to realize that it wouldn't be.

I remember

My 29th birthday when I delivered his eulogy. It was the last one he made it too, and in a church, on a Saturday before all of his friends and our family I tried to muster the courage to say goodbye. No loss could have been greater, no pain more sever. All the while, my son in the back of the church cried. Summing up ever so eloquently what I could not.

To this very day, I wear his masons ring. I'm not supposed to, but I do. It keeps him close to me. He's with me everywhere I go. Much like the coin I have in my pocket that sports the year of my fathers birth. We collected coins together and its something we both do. He's close to me... I can look and remember, the stories, the support, the direction the love.

Sentimental, yes. I am. More than anything....
I am thankful for the time I had, the influence, the direction, the lessons and for the fact that I can



I wrote this one this afternoon... I forgot his ring today. Something I never do. In doing so, it caused me to think and remember. So rather than wait... I wrote. When we all leave this world all that is left are these memories. The feelings of those that have touched our lives, made a difference and someone made us better or stronger. All this from forgetting to wear a ring because I was late for work. I miss him.
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want to read this later so adding something so the notifications will bring it back to me...

+David Bowden you have outdone yourself! Couldn't be more proud of you if you had won the Pulitzer Prize! A man so in touch with his feelings is a valuable commodity in this day and age
+David Bowden you are truly amazing ... take a pic of your own hands, I bet that would be a great attribute to this!! xoxo
That's amazing. Welling up. Well said. A granddad's a special thing. I lost mine almost a year ago and reading this brought a lot of my feelings back. I wish I'd spent more time with him.
This was perfect +David Bowden I knew you wore your granddad's ring but not the whole story, it makes it that much more special. I wear my grandmother's engagement ring and have not taken it off since the day I got it. thanks for sharing <3
You always make me cry. (in a good way)
+David Bowden my mom taught me about the value of a dollar and always to pay off credit card in full but she has never once said she loved me or demonstrated her love in any way but in my favorite meal or paying off a bill for me.
thats made a lump in my throat and the corner of my eye fill and so it should as your grandfather was indeed a grand father~ how you will miss that man forever , i miss him now and thats only from the portrait have so eloquently provided~maybe we could see a photograph of your beloved grandfather..when you love someone they never die~so now without him walk tall like you did when you walked beside him at the banks~make him proud of you~you are so very lucky to have been a receiver of such greatness and the future generations are so very lucky as you will so obviosly pass on your grand fathers legacy of great human kindness ~ be happy dude :) and dont forget the ring !
It sounds like you are well on your way to being the same sort of man your grandfather was; and that is probably the very best tribute you can ever pay to him. I still have my parents and my grandparents and this takes me to a place I don't want to consider yet. Very eloquent David.
This one is actually very hard for me to comment on. Its funny... I wrote this in about 10 min. Others have taken days. I appreciate the comments, and I always like knowing that something I have written causes an emotion, a memory or a thought that is shared.

So many things I have locked away... its always very interesting to see what brings them out.
Thanks everyone
Beautifully written +David Bowden Memories are wonderful things and I dont think anyone is ever really gone while their influence and memory are still around...
WOW ... +David Bowden lovely touching. I have tears in my eyes, believe it or not... this touched my heart so deeply. It's great having such wonderful memories...Thank you for sharing it!
Once again you have made me pause in my day and reflect.
I've been lucky enough to know 3 older generations of my family.
Those men and women have taught me more than any book or teacher.
Now I have 2 of my own to pass these thing on to.
And if I'm remembered even half as fondly as you think of your Grandfather I'll consider it a job well done.
+David Bowden you were so blessed to have a relationship with your grandfather. My mom's dad lived next door, but because he and grandma were rearing my cousins after they were deserted by their parents, my grandparents had no time for me. Of course, I was understanding of that. And my other granddad was a religious fanatic who made everyone miserable when he visited.

I am happy to say, my dad has been a wonderful granddaddy to my kids. I have photos of my dad and my son, taken when my son was little, when he would cuddle up next to my dad in the recliner. Because my husband's military career made it necessary for him to live and work away from the kids and me so often, my dad took up the slack as a father figure for my kids.
Everybody needs security. ...... Not just kids.

Beautifully eloquent, David. I've always had a very difficult and virtually non-existent relationship with my own father. My grandfathers, while they were here, gave me memories I did not build with my father (though I'm still hopeful that we someday might). Even if he and I never have a relationship, I'll always have the memories of my grandfathers. I really needed to remember that tonight. Thank you for sharing.
+David Bowden I love to hear stories of how people remember grandparents. Both of my grandfathers had passed prior to my birth, I realize now that this is probably what led me to being a nurse in the geriatric population.
I only know you from on here, please take no offense ~ you look like someone I would not want to cross, that goes for your Grandfather as well.
The one thing that made me smile reading this was "my idea of you being a tuff ass as well as your grandfather", was that I was always told how much my father see's so many similarities in me that remind him of his pop, mostly that he was a bartender in Philly and didn't take any shit from anyone, kinda think that might be like you/your grandfather :) ( eyes' filling up) TY for opening up, for when you do~ it may help someone else.
Thank you Dave !!
Beautifully written and very powerful.
Everyone... thanks so very much for the comments. I sincerely appreciate them. So much time has lapsed since I left work, that catching up is a long task. Please accept my apologies for not replying to everyone.

+Jo Anne Thomas
Please dont let my profile picture fool you. Yes, I look exactly like that shot. But there are a ton of others. I am intense and focused. But also have a big heart. (sometimes too big I am afraid). I even smile.... well on occasion. My grandfather was one of those people that you just looked at and respected. Smart, articulate, stood with a purpose and honest almost to a fault. I have only a few of those traits. Im glad you liked the post and thanks for your note.

+Chris Hoffmann Im always happy if any of my posts cause someone to think, remember, reflect or share. It's what it's all about. You are most welcome... thanks for sharing a bit of you as well :-)

+Joe Gross the fact that you are even aware of these things means you are well on your way. I look forward to one day doing these things for grandkids. Big shoes to fill... and a job I look forward to... MANY years from now. Thanks for sharing

Thanks everyone... It really is funny how the simplest things can invoke so many words, memories and emotions.

You are blessed.

More important than being blessed?

Knowing and admitting that you are.
Andy Q.
Thank you David. Strong and touching tribute. I´ve never met your grandfather, but after reading this it feels like I just did, in a (good) way. :)
+eleisa barbour Thanks for that... while the blessings arent always as clear as I would like them to be, I do agree... I have been fortunate. Thanks +Andy Q. I really appreciate it.
Wow, +David Bowden! I'm glad I started my theme page and that your bro shared it or I never would have seen this... which led me to your About page. You're like a good book that begs for a sequel! This story is great, but your telling of it brings everyone in it to life. Thanks for sharing you with us.
Here's hoping we remember to have the same patience with our grandchildren some day...
I am sitting here crying...this is so incredibly beautiful, +David Bowden . Thank you for sharing your story. XO
Intense. A very moving tribute to a hero held dear. You have a way with words that resonate.
Hi +Pam Chalkley I really appreciate you reading my novel "About" page. I should give prizes to people that finish it. I'm glad JC shared it as well. Its a great theme. I'm happy it pulled you over this way and that you liked my posts. There are more if you search on #r3alTim3 +eleisa barbour youre as sweet as they come. I have no doubt that one day (in the future) you will be a great grandmother. +HEATHER FAY I am really glad you liked it. If its any consolation I was something of a blubbering mess when writing it. +Rao Gobburu Thank you so much. I never know how these things will go over and am not much of a writer. So, I am surprised every time and appreciate all the kinds words. +poh huay Suen Thanks so much. Im glad you are enjoying my little part of the stream :-)
And modest too, +David Bowden? I didn't just read it to the end, I found myself wishing I had it in a document so I could make margin notes! The hashtag only turned up one post...
The hash tag is odd. Click on best of and the rest show up. They are all taged but not always showing up. It worked great that way. I can send you the original if you like. I dont write in G+ I used +Evernote for all of my posts and keep them there (EXCELLENT service if you dont use it) So I have easy access to them. Im thinking about changing my blog up a TON and not making it a photography blog but a ME blog and re-posting and tying my G+ and Wordpress together. (to better remedy this problem). As for being modest.... I am more of a realist. Accomplishments of days gone by dont make us who we are today, they are just indicators of what we have done. The importance is what we do today and how we conduct ourselves now.... or at least thats how I think about it. Otherwise I would be stuck in the past forever.
You really are too kind. Thanks for that :-)
Gee, thanks, +David Bowden! The "Best Of" does bring up a lot. How silly. Now I've saved the search too. I agree it isn't our past - either accomplishments or those sad tapes that so many people play over in their heads - that make us.
Thank you, but I'm just me! :)
ok it's getting a bit late and I'm getting stiff sitting so someone comment after me. I want this in my inbox. Then I can read it over coffee in the morning. Please?
Thank you guys! And goodnight. =)
Ahhh David... beautiful. Your story really touched me. My grandparents were more like my parents, and I miss them horribly. I regret not taking more photos of them. :( So glad you stopped to write this! Have a great weekend... :)
Never had a grandfather of my own. Thank you for sharing yours.
+Amy Weiss thanks so much. Im glad you liked the story. Sorry it took me so long to reply. I called it a night early last night and was out all day today shooting :-) +Katy jean it was my pleasure. Thanks for reading
Thank you for sharing your GrandFather & your experience with us +David Bowden I so understand how you feel & I'm SO very pleased that you had a similar relationship with your GrandFather that I did. We truly ARE blessed, aren't we & we are better people because of them. I think it is wonderful that you honor your GrandFather by keeping him close in wearing his ring. I have my GrandFather's glasses in my breakfront. They have no intrinsic value. They are just a pair of old chipped & scratched glasses, but they are how he viewed the world & to me they are priceless. They keep him close as does the angel that I have for him. It resides over the mantle of my fireplace & watches over me daily, so Grandpa is ALWAYS close. It was a beautifully written tribute to your GrandFather. I'm sure he is very proud of the man that you've become David. You do him proud every day. (((HUGS)))
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