1.18.2003

My grandfather, Sheldon Albert Fitzpatrick, was an extraordinary man. He kept bees and made his own honey. He ran a farm, and did the family's cobbling. Much to my grandmother's chagrin, he made homemade beer. A man of letters, he loved literature, passing that love down to my mother and thus to me. He cared about his community, and was Treasurer, Mayor, and keeper of the cemetery books and grounds at various times for our little village. Most of all, he was remembered as a warm man with a wonderful sense of humour, well-loved by all who knew him. I was only 5 years old when he died, so my memories of him are limited. I remember an old tall man who wore a hat, took naps on the porch, let me sit on his lap where I would give him sloppy kisses and in retaliation he would give me whisker rubs (I would squeal with laughter and love every minute of it)...and oh yes, the pink peppermints, the peppermints he would share with me that he loved so much...

I sat with my grandfather sometimes during his last days on this earth, when he was laying in his bed at home. When I would come to him and talk to him, he would call me his little girl, and my mother would weep saying I was the only one now that he seemed to recognize. I didn't fully understand that then, but cherish that memory now. It reminds me of when my own father said his last words to Mom and I, Mom saying "No more Hawkeye and Chingascook"...an allusion to other memories of a time when I shared special moments with my father as a little girl...