April 3 marked my grandfather Earl Patton’s 98th birthday.
He is in heaven, but not a day passes that I do not think about him and the kind of man he was.
He was honest and hardworking. He was the kind of guy you could count on no matter what.
I told him my deepest darkest secrets. He knew them all, and he went to his grave with them.
I wrecked my car the day before my college graduation. He parked it on the other side of the house and said, “We will tell your mother after the weekend. It will be just as wrecked then.”
When he came in from work, he picked up the youngest child and carried that child around ’til bedtime.
When I would go back at night to my home after being at my grandparents all day while my mom worked, I would call and ask, “Can I go for a ride to the post office?”
They would pick me up and let me go with them. They took the ride to escape for a little quiet — leaving at home three teenage boys.
It still makes me laugh.
My grandfather loved my grandmother, Jessie Patton, with complete conviction. He loved his kids, his country and his God.
After I was married, he told my husband about how he had smoked.
I was shocked. I could not imagine him as a smoker.
He said, “I got saved and laid it down and that was it.”
It was all about conviction for him.
He served his country.
He was truly the most interesting person I have ever met.
He could talk about anything and listen to everyone.
He never showed his emotions easily, but I could beg an “I love you” out of him.
He said he was only going to go to one wedding for me, so I needed to make sure it was the right one.
For all the things he didn’t have to do, I thank him.
Thanks for you listening, for fixing my car, for checking on my dogs through the decades, for the long walks and hugs when I cried.
Thank you for being the one I could count on.
Even though you hated crowds and to be the center of attention, thank you for walking me down the aisle at my wedding and easing my anxiousness.
I think I had you come to the right wedding — the only one.
Susan Seaberry Wells is a Tyler resident.