My Grandpa Hollie (aka Poppi) and I have had breakfast dates for the last sixteen years. They began when I was a freshman in high school. He would come to visit, escort me off, and make me feel like the most important woman on the world.
Back then, he asked me hard questions. How was my walk with God? Who were my friends? What did I think my future held?
Around the age of twenty-two I guess he stopped worrying because our breakfast conversation shifted away from me and toward business, politics, and the world in general. (Perhaps that’s because I got married and he figured all of that other stuff was Mark’s responsibility now!)
I still try to sneak out some wisdom from him every time we go. He was a salesman for many years so this morning I asked him, “What’s the best way to sell something?” He looked at me very seriously and said, “Just love all the people.” Then he turned back to his biscuits and gravy as if that’s all there was to be said on the subject.
And for him, that’s really all there is. Through the years he’s simply loved everyone he’s met. That’s how he built a marriage, a family, a business, a life. He still carries around a Gideon Bible in his front pocket everywhere he goes. It might go to a waitress having a hard day, a stranger he meets in a store, or to whoever else he thinks might benefit from it. Whoever is on the receiving end always walks away with a smile. It’s beautiful to watch.
I’m thankful for my Grandpa. I can’t think of anyone I would rather be named after. I love him and aspire to love like him. Sixteen years of breakfast are a good beginning…and even a lifetime wouldn’t be enough.