It takes a lifetime for us to reunite with our loved ones when they pass. But what takes us an entire lifetime to achieve in order to meet our God, happens in a blink of an eye to them.
Grandpa Jess was a warm, gentle, and courageous man whose love was nothing less than unconditional. No matter what he did in his life, he was sure to always include us in his new endeavors, and we, were always ready to join him on his journey to the top. Whether it was knocking on doors when he ran for City Council, and for Mayor, we were always included and he always made us a part of his life.
As we stop and reflect the role that our Grandpa Jess played in our lives, the greatest gift he gave, aside from being, “The Best Grandpa in the World” was the choice of a laptop or an opportunity to travel after graduating high school. He encouraged good grades, rewarded us for hard work, and set the example we all strive to follow.
Grammy and Grandpa Jess were “Best Friends”, and she was his “First Lady”, to see them together made you smile, and there was no question how much he meant to her and her to him, the love they shared was priceless.
Grandpa Jess fell ill, and after retiring from Mayor him and Grammy took on a new hobby; assembling wind chimes! He was so proud of those wind chimes and together, he and Grammy created works of art; Grandpa the brains behind the tune to every chime, Grammy the artist that hand-painted the birdhouses according to traits of each of the recipients. As we listen to the chimes in the wind, we are reminded the finished product was created from the heart of Grammy and Grandpa Jess.
When grandpa was too sick to walk, Grammy took initiative to take care of him each day. In January when grandpa became increasingly ill, Grammy stayed by his bedside. She was his devoted caregiver, she was strong, but you could feel Grammy’s pain. He was her true love and she was his. They held each others hands and Grammy told him it would be okay, “as soon as you can walk, you can come home and I’ll take care of you.” We knew deep down, our courageous grandpa, the one who never lost a battle, the one that did everything he said he was going to do, was getting tired. We always reminded him, “how much we loved him, and he said in a whisper, “I Love you too”. We’re lucky to have had the chance to say good-bye to the man who was not only our Grandpa Jess, but the role model that guided us every day of our life.
Mayor Tanner was our “grandpa”; Mayor Tanner was someone we never let down, Mayor Tanner was, “a man of his word and one heck of a visionary!”
What saddens us the most is that as we live the remainder of our lives, we will never see our grandfather again. He will not be there to help us solve a problem, practice our Spanish, or take us to McDonald’s after a hard days work. But for us we know that his spirit will guide us down the path we chose and he’ll witness each and every decision we make that may very well mirror the legacy he’s created!
Brandon Kindle (grandson)