Monday, February 11, 2008

Jocelyn's Story for her bonpapa, Roger A. Osborne

Saturday we surprised Roger Osborne with a 90th birthday party. It was fun and easy and he was surprised. I laughingly said that I have never told so many lies in my life and then had to alter that to say, I have never told so many lies in one short span of time. But it was all worth it.

Jocelyn wrote a story for her Bonpapa and I have been given permission to post it here. It's a story of their lives together. The incidents and descriptions are true and accurate and if you know my kids, you know who is being referred to:

It was a stormy day in heaven as five little children sat together on a cloud contemplating the life that lay ahead of them on earth. "A good grandpa is hard to come by these days," said the oldest, most responsible one of the bunch. "And it looks like we won't have any!" cried another dramatically.

A gloomy silence fell over the group, as they thought about this grim prospect. They had just learned that the man who would be their maternal grandfather in life would be abruptly taken, and that their paternal grandfather would live too far away to do all of the fun things that a grandfather should.

The children, who would also become siblings on earth, wondered—without a grandpa, who would tell them stories about the good old days? Who would teach them silly songs to sing on road trips? Who would hug them tight and tell them jokes and be their special friend when no one else wanted to play?

Just as they were looking their saddest, a more mature pre-earthly being walked by and noticed this odd spectacle—five sullen faces in heaven. "That just wouldn't do," he thought, and he stopped to see what he could do to cheer them up.

"Well, isn't this a sullen bunch?" said the stranger with a twinkle in his eye, "You all look like you just lost your best shooter in a marble match!"

"Marbles? What's that?" asked the children quickly setting aside their worries to satisfy this new curiosity.

"Why, it's a marvelous game, and I'm going to play it when I am a boy down on earth!" said the stranger. As he explained the game as he had seen it played, the children listened with rapt attention.

"That sounds like great fun," chimed in the youngest child. "Oh, there's all kinds of fun to be had on earth," said the man, "all kinds of games to play, stories to tell, pies to eat, friends to make, and songs to sing."

"Songs to sing?" inquired one of the older children with peaked interest. "Can you sing one to us?" she asked. "Oh, yes, please," pleaded the children in unison.

"Well, there is this one that I have heard sung down there that is quite catchy," said the man, "It goes like this, 'John Brown's mother said that smoking is no good'…join in with me when you get the tune," he said, as the children slowly picked up the words of the song.

Before they knew it their song broke out into a ruckus round of clapping, singing, and laughing, and the children could hardly remember what had caused their pity party just moments earlier.

Just as the fun was getting into full swing, a voice came over the announcement system, "This is a last call boarding announcement for transport to Tionesta, Pennsylvania. Would Roger A. Osborne please report to Departure Gate B?"

"Well, it looks like it's my turn to go. It was real great meeting you kids," said Roger as he turned to leave.

"Wait!" cried the youngest girl, suddenly remembering their dilemma, "We need a grandpa!!"

"What's that?" asked Roger, looking momentarily puzzled by the request, "Oh, on earth…I see….Is that why you were all looking so long in the face when I first saw you?"

Realizing what little time they had to plead their case, the children all spoke at once, "Please, be our grandpa! We need you! We could have so much fun together!"

"All right, all right!" laughed Roger, who needed to hurry off to his departure gate. "I don't know how everything will go down there, but perhaps we will see each other again!" he said with a smile as he began making his way to his gate.

"Wait!" yelled the children, "How will we know you when we see you again?"

Roger thought for a minute, and called back to the children, "I will be the one eating the lemon meringue pie!"


Max and Deborah said...

What a sweet bonpapa! What a blessing Roger has been to your children.

Lin said...

now explain to me what a bonpapa is. a stepfather or godfather?

Lin said...

found it french for grandfather....

Robin said...

pause ... thanks for that touching story!

Dawn Mercedes said...

So glad that he's MY BonPapa, too!

Sophia said...

This made me cry. Beautiful. And please convey our best wishes to Roger and tell him that he looks just as handsome as I remember him from thirty years ago!

Love you big!

Joan said...

That was a great story. I can see it in a book with pictures for all the great grandchildren...

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