Reflections of the past are always so sweet when thinking of our family and the love we share. If we had a wonderful childhood we can look back and pull the memories to reflect upon when needed. Valentine's Day recalls the thoughts of love and thinking of the special people in our hearts. It can be our first love, special friends or family, our babies or how we feel loved. Remembering a certain smell, sound, taste always rekindles sweet memories to surface fresh in our minds. There to feel the wonderment any time we feel the need. I have had a few wonderful men in my life. My husband is one of those men and he was sent to heal my heart and mend my belief in love. This time of year takes me back to my childhood and my grandfather John Jacob Hanselman and all the wonderful times I had with him. He was born in 1887 and lived to be 92. He was always an inspiration to me through my life. He sent me Valentines and special Christmas cards and would save his money to buy me a special doll or a ring from the jewelry store. I still have that ring he bought me when I was 8 and a few valentines. Very humble he was and always loving and kind to me growing up. He didn't have much and he taught me so many things growing up like how to mix concrete if you were pouring a sidewalk or if you were laying bricks. There is a difference. He always had a woodworking project he was working on. I do have to admit his measuring skills were not measure twice and cut once. Some of his tables were a little lop sided but still wonderful to me. Now they would be great primitive pieces! I took all the scraps of wood and made them into a bird, skunk or some animal I just called "animal" but didn't know exactly what it was. He held me when I was ill and his kind old hands always seemed to sooth me. I always held his hand in church sitting with him and when I sat at his footstool waiting to hear a little story or watch him smoke his pipe. He would lite a match and always let me blow it out. The smell of a match takes me back to those days of him sitting in his chair by the window blowing smoke rings for me and I would smile and ask for just one more. They would always float above his head and then disappear. It had to be magic! I loved him like no one else. He didn't have earthly blessings and he always gave what he had and loved me like no one else. He was never harsh and the only time I ever remember him saying anything to me was while in the car with my uncle driving us to the store in his Ford and I was looking back sitting in the middle between them. He said, "Shorty, look where you are going...not where you have been." That is a good thought to remember and I have remembered that in my life. He never expected anything and never wanted to make you into what he wanted you to be. He just simply loved. My own family I hope reflects his kindnesses and honesty. My three boys are wonderful men. Each one has integrity and loving ways. Love to remember when they were young and reading the Bible every morning to them. They were home with me and filling the house with joys beyond compare. They were a handfull at times but so full of love and excitement. The house was always full of little boys, mine and usually a few others. Our house was that house where everyone was welcome. I baked every day and usually had a plate of fresh baked cookies and little boys love to eat cookies. Remembering my sweet little faces smiling up saying "I love you mom" as they hugged me still fills me with that special feeling only a mother can feel. They are all grown up but they look down now as they hug me and say, "I love you mom." Love makes a difference in our lives and fills our heart with joy. Remember the love and special joys in your life and always be thankful to God for blessing your life with love.
"Friendship isn't about whom you have known the longest. It's about those who came and never left your side."