This site is dedicated with love and affection to John and Iris Ward, the very best grandparents and parents anybody could ever hope to have.
A true story about me and my Grampa, as recited with a mixed bag of chuckles and tears at his funeral:
When I was yay high, I remember going to my grandparents’ house and when we’d pull up and I’d get out of the car my grampa would always meet me about halfway down the sidewalk. He would scoop me up into his arms and say, “How are you, you wa-ha-lo-tee?” I don’t know what a wa-ha-lo-tee actually is, but what I can tell you is that when he said it, it came from a place of deep affection and love. I have never felt so safe in my whole life as I did when he would scoop me up in his arms.
And although I never did find out what a wa-ha-lo-tee was–and apparently now I never will–I did learn many important things from my grampa about what a man should believe, and I’d like to share some of those things with you, so I wrote them down.
What A Man Should Believe
What a man should believe
You taught me by your way
How you lived and carried on
Through each and every day
You taught me to believe
That people are usually good
And reaching out in friendship
Is the way I always should
You showed in all your action
That virtue and honor define a man
And you carried them as your character
In ways you taught me to understand
You showed me how your courage
Was at the forefront of your creed
And I’m inspired by the way you faced
Every adversity and need
But amongst these many virtues
One stands so far above
And I will never, ever forget
The warmth and power of your love
I’ll always love you, Grampa
The best parts of me came from you
You taught me everything worth believing
And every word, I know, is true.
Not many people are lucky enough to get to meet their Heroes in life, and I know that especially these days a lot of people don’t even believe in the idea of Heroes. But I was very lucky not only that I got to meet my Hero, but that I got to have him as my Grampa.
So goodbye, you wa-ha-lo-tee! I love you!