Sunday, July 19, 2009

Remembering Wally

I guess because I watched the movie Fireproof with my husband Friday night, in which a man's father features a prominent role as an advisor to his son during his troubled marriage, and because I am about to visit my sons and their father, my husband, at Boy Scout Camp this coming Thursday during Parents' Night, during which either Wally was always there or I accompanied him, I am thinking about Wally's influence on my life, and how I will miss his influence on the lives of my children.

I miss him. I also owe readers and him the blog I promised I would write - detailing my youngest son's impromptu speech about his grandfather at the funeral. My husband also wrote one, which will be featured in the second part of this entry.

In comparison, these two men approached their task very differently. My husband, who is often at a loss for words, took almost four days to write this speech, putting final touches on it as the limo drove to the cemetery for Wally's final resting place. My son whipped out this piece of paper and thoughtfully crafted it as he reminisced about his grandpa the night before the visitation.

Either way, the true spirit of Wally's personality lies in these words. I strive every day to live in honor of Wally, to see Christ in everyman, like he did, and to live as he did, forgiving those who trespass against me.

Here is the text of my youngest son's speech:

When I was born, I hadn't yet witnessed the fortune I had. I am John, the third and last grandchild. My grandfather, Walter Proehl, was my idol, not Vincent Van Gogh. Besides, why would I want my idol to be some guy who cut off part of his ear. No, I wanted my idol to be someone courageous, someone kind. That someone was my grandfather. All through my life, he has helped all; if a light needed to be fixed, he would repair it. Task by task, he was even fixing the world. An enemy to none, but a friend to all. He was a joker, but never hurt a single feeling. I remember him taking my brother, Drew, and I to go fishing. We never caught anything, but it was exciting just being out there. When my brother and I would fight, he would make us so happy we would just forget. I learned a lot about him when I had a school geneaology project. He gave me all the information. The entire time I have spent with him I have never seen him frown. He always made time to play with us even so we lost several ping pong balls under the shelves of his work shop. He was my grandmother's best friend, a wonderful mentor to my father, and an idol to me. A wonderful man, there was nothing else to ask for. May he reflect on us all, so we can be just like him.