Friday, February 8, 2008

100 Things about Emmitt Bridgwater

100 things about my Grandpa Emmitt

1 He was a Christian.
2 He loved his family fiercely.
3 He was over 6 feet tall.
4 He had brown hair.
5 He loved to fish.
6 He could clean a fish better than anyone else.
7 He swore that the bass in Cap’s pond liked brown plastic worms better than any other bait.
8 He usually caught more fish than anyone else.
9 He hated snakes.
10 I once saw him stop the car after running one over, reverse the car, run over it again, get out of the car, and shoot it.
11 He had a hat that described him perfectly. It said “Awesome”.
12 He would do anything for his wife.
13 If they stayed the night somewhere and were expected to sleep in two twin beds, he couldn’t stand it. They always slept in one.
14 She would still sit in his lap.
15 He used to work on the railroad.
16 He waited for a raise of something like 10 cents an hour before he married my grandma.
17 He read meters after he retired.
18 He installed life lines for the elderly (many of which were younger than him).
19 He volunteered at the hospital (quite the paper shredder I hear).
20 He served Meals on Wheels.
21 He served as an elder in the Main and Oklahoma Church of Christ for as long as most people can remember.
22 People loved him. No, I mean LOVED him.
23 He could make you laugh no matter what kind of day you had.
24 He used to take me to McDonald’s every Tuesday.
25 We always ate in the Caboose (this old train caboose the McDonald’s had).
26 After that, he took me to the hospital to see my grandma (who also volunteers there).
27 But first, we would always get candy from the gift shop.
28 He used to hide caramels around the house for his wife to find.
29 She never doubted that he loved her. He told her 100 times a day.
30 He used to have a huge garden.
31 We would sneak strawberries out of it together before they were washed.
32 He knew practically everyone in the town of McAlester.
33 He used to do the grocery shopping.
34 He always made sure to have Dr. Pepper in the house if my sisters, cousins or I were coming.
35 He made all of his grandchildren feel like they were his favorite.
36 My boyfriends used to have to pass the Grandpa test.
37 Not many did.
38 Neil was his favorite. (He had good taste.)
39 We used to play 42 with him and my grandma.
40 They were unstoppable as a team.
41 If she didn’t know what suit to call as trump he’d say, “Come on Mary, you’ve got 14 dominoes. Just pick your poison.”
42 He taught me how to play cards.
43 He said I could beat him at SkipBo by the time I was 6.
44 I’m pretty sure he let me win.
45 When he was bored, he couldn’t sit still.
46 There was always a crossword puzzle or a game of solitaire to be played.
47 He loved flowers.
48 He had beautiful flower beds.
49 Their back porch has always had a hummingbird feeder.
50 He was a really amazing husband.
51 He was a really great dad.
52 His three sons loved him.
53 His eight granddaughters loved him.
54 His twenty great grandchildren loved him.
55 Jana Kay’s baby will love his memory.
56 As will all the rest of our children from here on.
57 He knew what he believed.
58 He made sure everyone else did too.
59 His life was his testimony.
60 He used to make up crazy songs that didn’t make sense.
61 He could tell which car was his in the parking lot by the big fish pillow in the back window.
62 He drove a really old Dodge Dakota.
63 He didn’t think it was safe enough for anyone else to drive it, but he drove it even though he was 90.
64 He used to pick pecans.
65 We gave him 50 pounds to pick out this Christmas.
66 I bet he was almost done.
67 He survived triple bypass surgery in 1999.
68 He lived to be 90.
69 He grew up in McAlester.
70 He married his high school sweetheart.
71 She said he was the class clown.
72 They kissed on their first date.
73 They didn’t kiss on their second date.
74 He knew she was worth hanging around.
75 He served in the army.
76 He and my grandma used to be counselors at Sooner Youth Camp.
77 The Bridgwater name has a legacy because of him.
78 If you say Bridgwater in any Church of Christ, someone will ask if you know Emmitt.
79 He started making his own salsa and pickled okras.
80 They were really good.
81 He made the best peanut brittle in the world.
82 He used to make the salad.
83 He would take forever meticulously cutting up every carrott, piece of celery and onion for it.
84 He would leave the onions on the side if his grandchildren were there. He knew we didn’t like them.
85 He read his Bible every day.
86 It made him really sad when others didn’t choose to follow Jesus.
87 I think he probably prayed for them daily.
88 He had a lot of stories.
89 I never got tired of hearing them.
90 It’s a good thing too, because he would repeat them occasionally.
91 When I took Joel out Christmas shopping, he got on to me.
92 He wanted me to take care of that baby.
93 He came to see Joel in the hospital.
94 I’m pretty sure I saw a tear in his eye when he held him.
95 When he saw a picture of Joel crying last week, he said Joel was crying because he found out his middle name was Emmitt.
96 Joel will be proud of that middle name.
97 I hope he grows up to be like his great grandpa.
98 I want a marriage like his and Grandma’s.
99 Their marriage was the ultimate example of love, compromise and submission to one another.
100 He really was the best man I’ve ever known, and probably ever will.


Jana Kay said...

There are so many more than 100 things about Grandpa Emmitt. But he is a piece of history. He was the first man to ever fire a grenage rifle. The ONLY man to ever fire it standing up. Did you know that John David would gather the pecan's from his yard when he found out they were going to see Gpa Emmitt?! He was soooo LOVED!

Jessica said...

Oh, Mary (and Neil). I'm so sorry. I'm so thankful that you have such a hero in your life. Joel will have such a wonderful example of living life for God and for his family.

I loved your beautiful list, and found myself feeling so many of those things for my own grandpa. Those of us blessed with such whole-hearted servants as grandparents, that we get to know and love for all of our lives will never take it for granted.

Love you guys, praying for you guys, and my heart is aching for you.

Dana said...

Tears are pouring down my face. That was beautiful.

Audrey said...

Oh Mary! I am in tears! I am so sorry for your loss of your Grandpa
Emmitt. What a wonderful tribute to him and may the legacy of him live on forever in his children and grandchildren. May God bless your family as you grieve. I pray the memories of him will live on in your minds forever.

When Carson came in and saw me reading and crying he saw the pic and said, "Oh how sweet." So true in his innocence.

sgtboz said...

Although I know this could have easily been "400 Things about Emmitt Bridgwater," that was really really really perfect. Thanks so much for taking time to write it all out.

Did you intentionally not tell the story about him lining the 5-gallon bucket with a garden hose so that you'd have a 'comfortable' place to potty?

Dava Lynn said...

Mary...this list is so...Grandpa. I miss him...I love you.

Ledbetter Fam said...



Stefani said...

Okay, the fact that he hid caramels around the house for your grandma REALLY got me! I can tell by the list that he really took the time to think of others before himself. What a precious man! Thank you for sharing this list with us. xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

ChandraJoy said...

I am sorry for your loss. Your list was a beautiful dedication to an obviously wonderful man. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Emily said...

What an amazing man. Neil has a lot to live to live up to! How wonderful to know that his legacy of love, family and most importantly, Christianity will live on.

Debby McCrary said...

Mary, I am so sorry for the loss of your grandfather. I know that even in this sad time, you are praising God for the priviledge and honor of having your very special grandfather. Your list is a beautiful tribute.
Love, Debby McCrary

Jeny said...

I am crying! I love you and know what you are feeling! When we told my dad that Mitchell would be Mitchell Edward after Dewayne Edward he wanted to call him "Eddie". My reply was,"If you want to be the crazy grandpa who calls him a wierd name you can." Keep sharing your memories, especially with your kids any chance you get. Your kids will know Greatgrandpa Emmitt very well through your loving stories of him!