Maybelle Libbie Counter b: 15 Dec 1901 d: 02 Mar 1969

Andrew Jackson McClintick b: 13 Aug 1902 d: 10 Jan 1995

Dan Hudson Malone b: 07 Jul 1916 d: 23 May 2005

Ione Mabel Miller b: 12 Jan 1917 d: 04 Aug 2009

Today I lost my last known grandparent. There may still be 2 out there but I’ll never know. So this blog is my reflection upon them. 

I never knew Maybelle because she passed almost 12 months before I was born. That has always bothered me and I don’t know why. I never knew the woman, maybe because I think that if I had known her it would have given me more insight into my mother’s personality.  But A. J. McClintick was my first best friend. We went everywhere together and he was always there for me. I can’t even begin to start a list of what he taught me.  He took me to see the first movie that I can actually remember seeing called Follow Me Boys which affected me at a very young age and more than likely warped my belief system of how people should act towards each other.  He didn’t own any land and left little behind other than memories and an emptness that I haven’t ever been able to fill. I hope that I live my life half as well as he lived his. He passed in the family home surounded by us.  It’s always upset me that my daughter never had a chance to met my best friend but she’s gotten to know him through stories and such over the years.

We lost Dan Malone next and it was completely unexpected and the hardest of them all.  Gramps, a name him and Granny took after I got married so my kids wouldn’t confuse my parents with them,  was our real life Andy Griffith, or at least what I think Andy is like in real life. He was easy going and met everyone with a smile. It’s hard putting that imagine of him and placing it on a harley but that’s what they did for years, the drove their bike to every state except hawaii until they were physically unable to do it any longer. Then they bought a motor home and continued to travel for years. Here 3 months gone 3 months. They traveled all over the world and I still have problems creating a mental picture of these okies in Japan. Gramps taught me just as much as Grandpa did but completely different things. Gramps had his own company and he was willing to look past anyone’s past mistakes and give you a second chance. But you didn’t betray his trust.  They were also members of the Shriners and raised over a million dollars for the transportation fund of the organization over the years. He shouldn’t have passed the way he did, he had been having health issues a few days before hand but didn’t tell anyone. When we did hear about it he said he was fine and wouldn’t go to the hospital. We were later told that if he had come in then they might have seen what was going on and may have been able to help him.

Today Granny passed. That woman was one of the most stuborn people I have ever known and told it like it was. When they quit using the motor home and we were helping them clean it out Gramps showed us a gun. I asked him why the hell he had a gun. His response was one day your grandmother’s mouth is going to get me into trouble where I’m going to need this.  She was the type of woman who would walk up to a 6 foot + biker in leathers and ream him up one side and down the other with no fear. And more than likely the biker would be hanging his head in shame while answering with a yes ma’am or no ma’am type answer. Once she was finshed she’d make him go call his mother.  One time at a professional soccer game a guy was behind us smoking a cigar. Granny was allergic to smoke but she sat there through half the game. At half time she had enough and turned around to talk to the man who was sitting on the row above us. As I recall the converstation went something along the lines of “Excuse me sir, I know we’re outside and you have the rights to smoke that but I’m allergic to it would you mind putting it out for a quarter so I could enjoy the game?” And then the man took his life into his own hands, he blew the smoke in her face. She calmly reached down to her drink, removed the lid and threw it in his face. The guy went nuts, security came and who are they going to believe? A 20 – 30 something old guy who’s yelling and screaming? Or a little old lady? The guy was thrown out of the game.  That was granny, she tried to do what was right, she tried to reason with people until it was clear there was nothing more to say. Then she’d finish the converstation and prove that you were an idiot for arguing with her.  Over the passed few years her eyesight had gotten to the point that she couldn’t see anything, she had lost her hearing and suffered “mini-strokes” and bouts of dementia. Today was just a release for someone who died 4 years when her husband and best friend passed and it had been expected so it’s a bit easier to handle. In the last 4 years you would only catch glimpses of the woman she had been and  I’m lucky that my daughter was able to get to know Granny and Gramps and all the positive effects they had on her life.

I miss them all.

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