On September 16th my Grandpa Ord turned 100 years old. He is still driving. He can still recite his stories and poems from memory. He knows who we all are and details about us. The family had a huge gathering to honor him this last summer in California and I was, thankfully, able to go. I do not see my Grandpa very much which is probably good because every single time I see him I get those lumps that you get in your throat that mean you are about to cry and I have to figure out how to choke them down. I am not sure what causes me to choke up. Is it the realization of what an amazing life he has lived? Is it because he is family? Something just overwhelms me when I am in his presence. Maybe it is something just confirming the circle of life...ugh, did I just quote Lion King?
I actually do not really know my Grandpa that well. This is one of the only pictures I have of him and I together. Please notice my blue gum in my mouth in this picture :) Growing up we did not live that close to him and when he and Grandma came to visit I was not really as attentive of a teenage granddaughter as I wish I would have been. There are a few things that stand out to me when I think about his life. One is his amazing memory. He has memorized countless poems, quotes, and stories and he can still recite them all. Another is his work ethic. He started at the very bottom of Bank of America and through the years worked his way up and up. That sort of thing does not really happen in this world much anymore. Another fact is his fascinating love for my Grandmother. She died several years ago and he talks about her with such sweetness and tenderness. In our church he served as a stake president and a Patriarch among other things and sacrificed and sacrificed for those callings. He truly inspires me despite the fact that I did not spend much time with him or see him much.
I can not even comprehend 100 years. You know how in elementary school they usually have a day that falls sometime in the cold of February where they recognize that everyone has been in school 100 days? The kids usually have to bring in 100 of something so they can get a visual on how much 100 of something is. When ever my kids had to do this I confess my first thought was usually, "Aaarghhhh, 100 of something, really?" That is going to be so hard. But when you actually count out 100 Fruit Loops, 100 Cheerios, or even 100 Legos it is not drama-licious at all. But when it comes to Grandpa Ord we are talking about years... doing 365 days 100 times.....that is a dang lot of fruit loops :)
If I happen to live to be a hundred that would mean I am not even halfway through my life yet. I wonder if Grandpa even thought about 100 when he was 44 years old?
If I reach 100 what will I hope I see when I look back at 44? Will I be proud of my life? Will I have seen the Aurora Borealis? Will I finally have a good lawn? Will I have ridden on a train across the country? Will I have traveled? Will I have seen a space shuttle take off? Will I have been whale watching at least twice? Will I have three different color hydrangeas in my yard? Will I have found the best way to stake tomatoes? Will I have been nice to others? Will I have been true to myself? Will I have spent the night on the beach? Will I have read all the books on my list? Will I have learned to play tennis? Will I have tried the violin? Will I have found the perfect bread recipe? Will my children all be making my rolls? Will I own a convertible? Will someone love me as much as I love them?
Geesh, I better get busy :)