Donna Reish wanted to make her father’s seventieth birthday extra special. “We knew that his daughters and nine grandchildren were the most important things to him,” she says, “so we centered the day around spending time together.”
Donna’s 21-one-year-old daughter, Cami, came up with the idea of making a list of 70 reasons the grandchildren loved their grandfather. Each grandchild was asked to jot down why they loved Grandpa—specific things he had done with or for them.
“A month before Dad’s seventieth birthday,” Donna says, “[we] had a wonderful surprise birthday party for Dad.” When he returned from a trip to the store, he was greeted by his grandchildren, daughters and sons-in-laws. He was completely surprised.
But the most wonderful surprise was the last gift opened. In the middle of a framed collage with pictures of the grandkids all around the outside was the list. Cami read the list out loud as she sat next to her grandfather. There wasn't a dry eye in the room. “As each reason was read,” Donna says, “we all had little flashbacks in our minds and hearts of Dad and that child. It was truly moving.”
Today, "70 Things We Love About Grandpa" proudly hangs on Grandpa’s wall. “I am sure that when my step-mom goes to the grocery store or runs errands,” Donna says, “Dad stands beneath it and reads and cries again. This was, by far, the most moving, celebratory, affirming gift I have ever given to anyone.”
70 Things We Love About Grandpa--One for Each Year!!!
1. You do special things for us.
2. You make us food we love.
3. You let us watch our favorite shows on your TV.
4. You make us seashells in tomato juice.
5. You take us fishing.
6. You take us to McDonalds.
7. You take us to Silver Town.
8. You read with us.
9. You take us to Wal-mart.
10. You watch our football games on TV with us..
11. You read with us when we were learning to read.
12. You take us to Red Lobster.
13. You go to watch our basketball games.
14. You spend time with us.
15. You support us in our ministry opportunities.
16. You save comics out of the paper for us.
17. You let us play with your “noise makers.”
18. You play Phase 10 with us.
19. You make butter bread for us.
20. You watched us in Speech and Debate.
21. You make summer sausages for us.
22. You always give us hugs.
23. You always have kisses for us.
24. You make Christmas special for us.
25. You have special nameplates on your Christmas tree for us.
26. You gave us a “Sharing Box” full of goodies each Christmas.
27. You make our birthdays special.
28. You pass out Christmas gifts at Christmas time.
29. You go to the movies with us.
30. You go and watch the Rocket games with us.
31. You went on trips to Florida with us.
32. You try to “surprise” us.
33. You have sugared cereal at your house for breakfast.
34. You talk to us.
35. You have cookouts at your house.
36. You cooked out on your grill for us.
37. You watch TV sports with us.
38. You play Euchre with us.
39. You play games with us.
40. You played kickball with us.
41. You held us when we were little babies.
42. You are never too busy for us.
43. You were there when Joshua and Lisa got engaged.
44. You taught us to love baseball.
45. You gave us coins to start our coin collection.
46. You give us Legos every year.
47. You took us to the water park.
48. You were snowed in with us.
49. You let us play in the field by your old trailer.
50. You took us to the Blueberry Festival.
51. You took us to the Street Fair.
52. You took us to Bearcreek Farms.
53. You took us to the zoo.
54. You have cookies jars at your house.
55. You let us sleep on your couch at your house.
56. You tell stories about when you were younger.
57. You take us to the Ritz Movie Theatre.
58. You go to all our graduations.
59. You bought us American Girl dolls.
60. You make us your homemade chili.
61. You go watch our plays.
62. You went to our homeschool expos.
63. You talk “sports” with us.
64. You take time for your “every day granddaughter.”
65. You make us smile.
66. You have a funny laugh.
67. You are sweet to us.
68. You give us special snacks to take on our way back to North Carolina.
69. You make us feel special.
70. You are the BEST GRANDPA EVER!