Just look at those hands

2 Dec

My remarkable siblings wrote this eulogy together in honour of Grandpa B.

There are only a handful of men in this world that are respected by everyone and hated by no one. One of those men is Grandpa Behrns. If one of us grandkids mentions he is our grandpa, peoples’ faces light up and we are given instant respect. It seems like everyone knows and has a story about Grandpa.

Now raise your hand if you’ve heard this one before. Grandpa had his fair share of stories, and he’d tell them to anyone willing to listen. He had a story for everything, whether it be about this tool he picked up at the flea market in Yuma for twenty five cents, his experiences at the tile yard, or that owl he won when he got a hole-in-one golfing, and he didn’t even know there was a contest. But that’s how life was for Grandpa, he was winning things all the time!

Some of Grandpa’s winnings include one thousand dollars from Roll up the Rim, and all those times he and Grandma would go “grocery shopping” to “Walmart” in Hanover and, surprisingly, they always came home with more money than when they left. He was so lucky that even us grandkids would save our scratch tickets for him in hopes of hitting the jackpot. But his greatest wins were marrying the love of his life, being blessed with five kids, 18 healthy grandkids, and one smiley great-grandchild that he couldn’t get enough of. He was always sure to brag about all of us when given the opportunity.

We all miss him, but we have been blessed with many memories. One time he came for corn on the cob, but forgot his false teeth. So of course he says “Mother, I forgot my teeth,” even though we all knew he only liked to lick off the butter and pepper anyways. Or that one time he leaned over and his comb-over leaned a little further; he wouldn’t notice, and we’d all giggle while he would walk around with his hair blowing in the wind.

Something Grandma said shortly after his passing was, “Just look at those hands.” Those hands told just as many stories as Grandpa did. His hands built a house, a family, and a great business. He used those hands to make all of us grandkids a set of coffee tables, and we all feel so blessed that he worked so hard to complete them even when he wasn’t at his best. He always thought about work and wasn’t one for sitting around “watching the beans turn.” One day in the hospital, he was staring so intently across the room and he explained, “You know that screw over there at the end of the bed? Well it’s screwed in a little too tight; if I had a screw driver I’d go over there and loosen it a little.” And we all know, if something is a little too tight, the only way to loosen it is to stick out your tongue and give yourself a little leverage.

We all have a lot of memories that we hold dear to our hearts. But one thing is for sure, from this time on, any time we have a cold beer, or a stiff rye, it will be in memory of a husband, a father, a grandfather, and a great grandfather; just an overall great man. If we were to ask him about his life, I think he’d only have one thing to say, “Well, that was good!”


7 Responses to “Just look at those hands”

  1. Hailey December 2, 2010 at 2:41 pm #

    Beautiful 🙂 It’s tough to say goodbye, but that’s made so much easier by having so many wonderful memories to take place of the pain.

  2. mandy December 5, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    This is beautiful. I am so glad that you and your family have so many amazing memories of such a great man.

  3. Kaye Bee December 6, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    I must say… we are pretty awesome.

    • Leanne Behrns December 6, 2010 at 7:21 pm #

      Did you noticed I fixed some of your grammar?

  4. Kaye Bee December 8, 2010 at 12:21 pm #

    yea… I did. We aren’t grammar perfectionists. I’m sure whoever was listening wasn’t thinking about how terrible our english is.

  5. Sarah December 9, 2010 at 8:47 pm #

    What a gorgeous tribute. I’m so sorry you lost your grandpa. He sounds like a remarkable guy.

    • Leanne Behrns December 9, 2010 at 9:28 pm #

      Thanks Sarah; he was pretty special. 🙂

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