Vail, CO, Colorado
As we approach Father’s Day, it has become increasingly meaningful for me to realize that not only is my own father not alive to celebrate, but neither is my son’s.
My father died many years ago, but my son still mourns a tremendous father gone way too soon. Pete Shearwood was the kind of father a son would like to grow older with while getting to know him better because he was a rather difficult man to know as a kid. Strong, gruff at times, but with a tremendous love at the bottom of wanting to build a good man out of a good boy.
And that he did, and he also left a legacy of appreciating the generation before.
Grandparents are one of the most important assets kids have today, and with our sometimes disconnected society, grandparents, whenever possible, can supply the mettle that builds good kids within the fabric of a strong family.
We have the ability to ignite interest in young minds that will last a lifetime, we can spark a desire to make a difference in their world, and, lo and behold, they do tend to listen to us.
Recently, my son and I reminisced about him playing hooky from Lois Walker’s third-grade class to go fish for salmon on his grandfather’s boat off of the San Juan Islands in Washington. He made up his schoolwork and completed his year while learning a love of boats and water that will remain with him for a lifetime. Along the way, he gained a tremendous love and respect for a man who is only slightly in second place to his father, his Grandpa Wil.
My son’s father shaped his life daily, but his Grandpa Wil set sail to his dreams and gave him respect for a generation past. He learned the importance of not asking for an explanation when he was told, “Put your life jacket on NOW; it’s getting rough out here.” He learned respect for experience and wisdom, even in a time when kids might have thought their parents were nematodes on the scale of intelligent life.
So while we celebrate Father’s Day, after equally important Mother’s Day, I would like to suggest that we give a tip of the hat to the grandparents who are fortunate enough to really make a difference in our grandchildren’s lives.
And one last note. Grandpa Wil was a step-grandfather to my son. Yet he loved him and cared about him immeasurably as his own and gave so much to the mind and the heart of a child.
Kids are kids, and in today’s world they need all of us.
Happy Father’s/Grandfather’s Day.
Rosie Shearwood and son, Scott