Friday, June 25, 2010

Grandpa Bud

DSC_0444 Christmas Morning, December 2008

My Grandpa Bud died last night.  He was an honorable, generous man.   He had a joke and a handful of M&Ms for everyone he saw.  He loved Brighton, Boy Scouts and his family.

Grandpa Bud hadn’t been doing well for awhile.  I’m grateful I took the time to see him while in town last month.  I’ve known since Tuesday  he probably didn’t have much time left.  Still, when I received the word last night, I took it pretty hard.  I surprised myself how much I cried.  I think it’s because I know at 38.5 weeks pregnant, I can’t travel across the country for the funeral next week.  I desperately want to be there for my mom and for the closure.  I want to be there to honor Grandpa and to share the special bonding time with extended family.  I hate missing this.

Tender thoughts of Grandpa filled my mind all night.  I appreciate the memories and pictures my cousins Julie and Jill have shared on their blogs.  They’ve helped inspire me to share mine.


Grandpa Bud Memories


*His magic disconnecting finger trick.

*His endless supply of corny jokes or “groaners.”  There was the Eskimo joke:  “Why do Eskimos wash their clothes in Tide?  Because it’s too cold out Tide.”  And the cow series:  “What do you call a cow who has just given birth?  Decaffeinated.”   “What do you call a cow with broken legs?  Ground beef.”  “Where do cows eat?  In the cafeteria.”  And my favorite:  “What do you get when a cow jumps over a barbed wire fence?  Utter destruction.”

*The Cabin.  He loved that place.  So do I.

*His relentless devotion to and loving care for Grandma as she battled Alzheimer’s for 23 years.

*His constant use of the word, “seriously.”  Maybe because he was joking all the time, he felt the need to really stress when he wasn’t.

*The way he always asked, “who’s this?” when you picked up the phone.  He knew it was you (he called you, after all), but it never stopped him from asking.

*The trip to Disneyworld with matching t-shirts.

*A full bag of M&Ms, ready to share.

*Brighton.  I remember going for drives with him up the mountain to check on construction at the Girls’ Camp when I was very young.  I also remember attending weekly camp devotionals with him.  Everyone knew him and adored him.  Floss (the director), the counselors, the girls… they all called him by his camp name, “Barney.”  When I was 12 and 13, I had the opportunity to fly out to Utah from Iowa to attend Brighton Girls’ Camp.  I loved it.

*He stocked his freezer with banana Creamies whenever we came to visit from Iowa because he knew we loved them and couldn’t get them in the Midwest.

*Donut holes.

*Outings to McDonalds, Sizzler and the ZCMI Center food court.

*Grocery shopping at Smith’s where we could pretty much talk him into buying every and any treat we wanted.

*Riding around in the back seat of his station wagon.  It was the old school kind with the back seat that actually faced backwards.  We thought that was so cool.

*Attending plays and musicals at Pioneer Memorial Theater.

*4th of July breakfasts and parades at Brighton.  Decorating our “Root Beer Float,” tossing root beer barrels candy to the crowd and chanting with cousins, “Root Beer Floats… make us burp!”

*The time he accidentally ran over my brother during one of said parades.


*Showing up the morning after my cabin parties and saying, “Guess I’ll have to hire someone to clean up this mess.”  Then giving me a wink and a smile.

*Listening to that silly song, “Utah Loves the Utes” over and over and over again while riding in his car.  He knew all the words.  I learned about half of them.

*Wonderful cruises with the entire family.

*Not being able to go anywhere with the man without running into several people who knew him.  He was one popular guy.  I was proud to be his granddaughter.

*His pool table full of automated toys during Christmas.  It was every child’s dream.

*Sitting at red lights and watching him “predict” when the light was going to turn green.  He was always right and it amazed me.  It took me years to realize he was simply watching the opposite traffic lights turn yellow, then red.

*His love for the University of Utah.  His Utes tie.  Every time he asked me where I went to college and I said, “BYU” he’d say “BY Who?”

*The way he’d bring home a sacrament meeting program and go over it with anyone who would listen, recapping the meeting and all the talks.

*His loooong fireplace lined with Christmas stockings.  One for each grandchild.  For years Santa visited my house on Christmas and Grandpa Bud’s house on Christmas Eve.  How cools is that?

*The way he called me “Wendy Wa Whoo.”

*The way he called my dad “MW.”  Short for Mr. Wonderful.  And Mike Weiler.

*The way he called Harley “Hardly.”

*The way he’d put out his hand to shake yours, then circle it away when you returned your hand.  He was such a tease.


I’m happy to think of you with full strength and sound mind reuniting with Grandma, your siblings and other very special people right now, Grandpa.  I love you.

DSC_0513-2 August 2009


Robert Franklin Barnes is survived by his 4 children, 20 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren (with 3 on the way).


Kell's Belles said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Wendy. I have some pretty great memories of Grandpa Bud, too. I vividly remember him taking us to A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum at Pioneer Theater. He was so nice to us! I always admired the way he took care of your grandma, too. I remember thinking, wow, he really loves her. I'm glad they get to be together again.

I'm thinking of you and praying for your family during this difficult time. Love you!

Julie Broadbent said...

Thank you Wendy. You have reminded me of so many of the things I loved about him.

Ali Snow said...

Beautiful tribute. it's fun to think about all the wonderful things we love about Grandpa. I had forgotten about peel-a-bucks. I wish you could be coming out next week.

Ryan and Cheryl Harris said...

I think you thought of everything...can I just link to your blog on mine? The only other memory of his house/him growing up was his awesome laundry shoot and how we'd drop things down it. That and his awesome garbage shoot. Great post and pics. Wish you could come out this week.

Ming said...

What a beautiful tribute to your Grandpa Wendy. I definitely feel for you not being able to be in Utah with your family right now. It will be nice to have your mom with you next week as you say good bye to one life and welcome in a new one.

My thoughts and prayers are with you. I love you!

Jess said...

I'm so sorry, Wendy. Even when you know it's coming, it's still really hard. Your family is in our prayers!

brookie said...

Wendy, I am so sorry for your loss. He sounds like such a wonderful man. Perhaps he's saying hello to Baby King right now, telling him all about the wonderful family he's about to meet next week. I love you and am praying for you.

anna banana said...

Dearest Wendy,

You are amazing and I admire you so much. For all you are and all you do, and how much love you have. I have never met Grandpa Bud, but have heard you talk of him often. I am grateful he is in a better place and thank you for sharing your love with all us!

Love you always!

Mom said...

Very well said Wendy! May I quote you in my talk, better yet will you write it?

Mike said...

Beautiful tribute Wendy. Thanks for sharing. So excited to have the arrival of Max a little early. Maybe he got tired of listening to Grandpa's jokes.



J. Ed King said...

I was deeply touched by your tribute. I hope my grandkids will have such wonderful memories of me. I can't help but think that maybe he and Maxwell crossed paths somewhere along the veil and got to visit for a while. If I may…Well done Grandpa Bud! – a life well lived – now enjoy your rewards.


hi! said...

I wish you could be out here this week. I second every memory you posted, thanks for sharing