It’s the little things like recalling his excitement at making homemade vanilla ice cream each summer, or the way his baritone voice filled the space of a room when he laughed ~ loud, hard, and true. I remember how proud he seemed to take me to the Eagles for a drink during my first visit after turning 21, and how he always ribbed me a little bit about anything. I’m not sure if it was to keep me tough, or to keep himself to become too soft.
When the state quarters were first released, I thought that I should probably collect them, it seemed like a pretty big deal. Time passed and I never followed through with that thought. The details are vague as to when and where we had the conversation, but I remember him telling me that he’d started collecting a set for each of his grandkids. Then he teased that I’d probably cash it in for gas money or something.
I’ve thought about it often, and during a recent visit with Grandma I was able to see the collection as he left it. The partial rolls, in order by date of release, states checked off as he drew nearer to completion. I think about him checking his change for the last Delaware coin, and I wonder how often he came back to this work. When Grandma gave me the quarters to sort, I couldn’t wait to begin. His precision with the small details spoke volumes about how much he cared for each of us. When I completed a few check marks he had yet to make, I counted to find we have the last 8 states to collect. Eight states. Eight Grandchildren.
Today we are celebrating the joy and memory of Grandpa Ewing. We love and miss you dearly!