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Grandpa Hopper - Sing With Me If It's Just For Today...
If I should fall behind, Guyster, wait for me.
guysterrules
guysterrules
Grandpa Hopper
I always knew him as Grandpa Hopper. I met him when Billy and me drove across the country from New York back home to Los Angeles and made a pit stop in St. Elmo to see his family. When we went to see his Grandpa, I had already met the rest of the family but Billy talked about no one in his family with more love in his voice than his Grandpa.

Yesterday I assembled a big box of presents for the Ledbetter family – gifts of network swag in addition to what I hope to be some thoughtful purchases. I wrapped them all; labeled them with their respective recipients and put them all in a big box for our mailroom to Santa them out of here. Each gift I chose, I had in mind what Billy would have given. It was a fun process, feeling his gentle guidance every step of the way. But I forgot about Grandpa until last night.

Billy approached his Grandpa’s gifts with special care, most of the time sending him hand made crafts that I saw displayed in Grandpa’s room at the convalescent home this year when I visited him again. He’s a stout man with sharp eyes and a slow gait. But there’s fire in those eyes and a reflection of Billy stared back at me. It was a moment of recognition and importance for me.

I didn’t panic last night when I realized my oversight. I had a few gifts that would be appropriate for Grandpa in my office. I came in today, wrapped up a nice box of chocolates and a t-shirt that was emblazoned with one of my company’s logos. I wrote in his card that I was a very good friend of his grandson, Bill’s, and I reminded him that we met this summer. I wrote him of the depth of love Billy had for him and how much of Grandpa was in Billy.

I called Becky today to find out his address. She gave me the name of the home but couldn’t remember the zip code.

“What’s Grandpa’s first name?” I asked.

After a pause, she said, “You know, I don’t know. Grandpa is all we call him.” I could hear her shrug.

I called the home for their zip code and asked the attendant what was Mr. Hopper’s first name.

“Bill,” the man said.

After all of these years, I didn’t know Billy had been named after his Grandpa. I don’t remember Billy ever telling me, and it’s a detail that could have easily been forgotten by me. Billy was his namesake and their bond suddenly became more apparent to me. Then I closed my office door and cried.

I hope Grandpa enjoys his t-shirt and chocolate.
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Comments
fabulist From: fabulist Date: December 18th, 2003 09:38 am (UTC) (Link)
...
spleenless From: spleenless Date: December 18th, 2003 10:12 am (UTC) (Link)
{{{{hugs}}}}

I'll give you a real one on Sat.
brianrdu From: brianrdu Date: December 18th, 2003 11:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Can you maybe give him one for me, too?
brianrdu From: brianrdu Date: December 18th, 2003 11:14 am (UTC) (Link)
You think he might know the story of you and Billy? Sometimes I wonder how much people...OK, older people, know, because everybody always thinks they don't have a clue...and I've been surprised once or twice before this way.

I hope your friend who sees you Saturday gives you an extra tight hug for me...I think I'll request that of her.
lapalomita From: lapalomita Date: December 18th, 2003 12:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
Just when you think you know everything about someone, something like this comes along & makes you wonder. It sounds like Billy really loved his Grandpa & is probably very happy & touched to see that you haven't forgotten him. I'm sure Grandpa will enjoy your gifts, sweetie. *hugs*
ruralrob From: ruralrob Date: December 18th, 2003 01:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I hope so too. You are a kind, thoughtful and wonderful man.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 19th, 2003 02:11 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. You are too, Rob.
shawnsyms From: shawnsyms Date: December 18th, 2003 04:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
I really like the picture of you and Billy on your main LJ info page.
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 19th, 2003 02:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you. It was taken on our balcony in New York by a friend of ours and it's funny because I remember that exact moment as if it happened a second ago.
ubermunkey From: ubermunkey Date: December 24th, 2003 11:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
dear guysterrulles,

wow you know your journal always gets me on some level or another.

I was sitting on the couch tonight watching the discovery chanel some travel segment, and the discovery logo got my mind going. wondering about you, what you were up to, where you are, who you are spending the holidays with. that all led to me sitting down at my pc in the middle of the night after wrapping mike's last present the XBOX. stuffing his stocking, and pulling out a card to write him for the tree. I couldn't do a thing more until I pulled up your journal to see how you are. Readin this brought a tear to my eye, as a lot of your stuff does. I am kind of rmabling here but the main thing I wanted to say was. LOTS OF LOVE, a HUGE HUG, and merry christmas.
love connor
guysterrules From: guysterrules Date: December 29th, 2003 11:02 am (UTC) (Link)
One of my favorite parts of this year has been getting to know you. Thank you, Connor. I hope you and Mike had a really wonderful Christmas. I have to catch up as I've been off of LJ for over a week but I bet Elli got a whole bunch of cool stuff from her Santa.
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