Friday, October 9, 2015

Bud

His greeting was always the same, “Hey, Little Bit”, followed by a big bear hug.  I guess I was “little bit” to him, standing five foot tall (on tippy toes) next to his six feet.  I thought of him more like a dad than a friend.  He became such an intricate part of our family that the kids thought of him as Grandpa Bud. 

We could always count on Grandpa Bud to be in the cheering section of every sporting event for each of our kids (even though he didn’t know a lick about sports).  Grandma Carol, on the other hand, loves sports and made valiant efforts to instill a love of sports in Grandpa Bud.  She claims she gave up after Bud asked her one day while watching an NFL football game, how many of the guys had last names of “Riddell” (the helmet manufacturer). 

Bud entered our lives when our kids were little and remained with us as our family grew and grew with foster and adoptive children.  It is fitting that our children were in his and Carol’s wedding as flower girls and ring bearers (God knows we had enough kids to make up two bridal parties!).  The circle of life came full circle when Bud and Carol represented the grandparents at our daughter’s wedding. 

He always made each of our kids feel special and loved.  He was a man of few words, but he never missed an opportunity to speak encouragement at the dance recital or the graduation.  His gentle kindness won the trust of Nurjahan, our little girl from Bangladesh, who was terribly burned by acid.  In her culture, it was forbidden to be alone in a room with a man who was not a relative.  Over time, she would sit on Grandpa Bud’s lap while he read her stories. 

If I were asked to come up with one word to describe Bud, it would be gentle.  He was always gentle and kind.  I never heard him raise his voice or utter a mean word to anyone.  He was also fun. 

For a man his age, he was up for anything.  We’ve been on camping trips, hiking in mountains, tubing and canoeing.  I’ll never forget the time he was canoeing with my daughter, Jennifer and the canoe tipped.  Carol and I were not very compassionate as we laughed our heads off!  Then, we realized Bud couldn’t swim, and his hat and hearing aids were floating down the river!  All was not lost, though and we managed to rescue Bud and his belongings. 

I have so many wonderful memories of Bud.  I feel so blessed to have had him and Carol in our lives all these years.  He lived a good, honorable life.  He loved his country and served in the military in WWII.  When he wore his WWII veteran hat, he was often approached by strangers that just took the time to say, “thank you.”  I want to take the time to say “thank you.”  Thank you, Bud for the joy you brought into our lives.  Thank you for your loving ways.  Thank you for always being there for my family.  Thank you for teaching me that gentleness and kindness are a sign of great strength of character.  You will be greatly missed and always treasured. 

Someday, I hope to hear that greeting again, “Hey Little Bit!”  Until then, rest in God’s arms my dear friend.


In Loving Memory
Bud Treiber
April 1, 1922 - October 8, 2015