Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Remembering Grandpa

I'm sure you'd assume from reading the title that you are about to read about my grandfather. Well, no, that's not the case. My actual grandfather abused me. So, no fond memories of him.

But I've adopted another one! Grandpa Walton from the Waltons.

I used to watch the Waltons as a child but was so young, I barely remembered any of the episodes when I began to watch it from time to time as an adult. Recently, my son and I started watching it together. We have fallen in love with it!

And I, as I said, have adopted Grandpa for my very own.

But on today's episode, the very next one after Grandma Walton came home following her stroke and the extended hospital stay, we found out that Grandpa had died! ...

Sadly, on April 22nd 1978, the beloved Grandpa of the Walton children, and one of America's best loved actors, died just before the filming for the next season of The Waltons was due to begin. It has been nice to see that his memory was still incorporated into the scripts of The Waltons, and he was, and still is, often referred to by the Walton family members, in just the same way as a loved grandparent might be in any family. His photo is still around the Waltons set, and we often see flashbacks as family members recall specific incidents.

Both of us cried and felt as shocked as I imagine most viewers did who watched it all those years ago.

So I thought I'd take a few minutes just to celebrate him. You'll see why I wish he had been my Grandpa instead of the one I got stuck with by birth (and my Grandmother's remarriage).

Grandpa Walton was full of life! He was always laughing and seemed so accepting of anyone who crossed his path. He was very in tune with nature and had a strong faith. He enjoyed life and every so often would take a day off and "go fishing". But really he just seemed to need time to reconnect.

I hope for his sake that Earl Hamner's real grandfather was as wonderful as this one.

I wish mine had been!

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