What My Grandfather Said




My grandfather was not a church-goer. He was, however, a deeply spiritual man who would say “you don’t need to go to Church to talk to God – you can talk to him anywhere”.

Which was good, because Papa Dan was more than a little hard of hearing in his later years, so I’m sure those conversations were pretty loud.

“Well, hello, love” was his standard greeting. He was a sentimental fellow, the type who saved birthday cards and as such, you spent twice as much time picking out his as you did anyone else’s, because he let you know that he pulled out those old cards and read them when he was sad or feeling lonely.

Papa Dan was a man of opinion, there was no denying it, and when he got on a roll, well, you settled in and listened. He definitely had something to say about everything (and I learned to avoid conversations about politics) but in reading some of his jottings, now that he is gone, I’ve realized that many of these strong feelings came from a concern about what the world would be like for future generations.

Of everything he said, the phrase that has stuck with me the longest was “Let go and let God” (and there is some debate as to whether it was “let God and let go”, but it works either way for me). It was a fantastic piece of advice – and something very difficult for a control freak such as myself to truly put into action. At least when I worried and fussed, I was doing SOMETHING, even if it wasn’t returning anything but indigestion or the occasional anxiety-formed canker sore.

Let go and let God. Giving up all your problems to another is such a seemingly simply and yet emotionally complex move.

Funny thing, though – every time I have done just this, said “I give up, God. I’ll let you handle it, it’s all yours”, a solution has dropped in my lap.

Just like that.

Some will say it is coincidence, or karma. I tend to see it for what it is, a gift. A blessing.

Does it make it easier to “give it up” the next time I am struggling with something? Nope. (Remember? Control freak?) And I’ll be honest, my grandfather lived a much simpler life than most of us do.

But eventually, finally, I will (hopefully) get to that place.

And I’ll let God.

And I’ll thank Papa Dan, too.

Mama’s Losin’ It
This post was inspired by the writing prompt “Something your Grandfather Told you” from Mama Kat’s weekly writer’s


  1. Grandmom Phyl says

    Like you, Jenn, I like to control things, and I feel I am doing something when I worry and fuss!!
    It was a pleasure to know Papa Dan for many years. He was very wise, probably from life experience. He was a gentleman and a caring person. Even if he talked about something he believed, and I did not, it was no problem to listen to him. He stated his opinion but did not force it on anyone else. He was a gift to his family and everyone who knew him, and his spirit will remain with us.

  2. Papa Dan sounds like a very wise man.
    Stopping by from Mama Kat’s.

  3. Very wise man! I find this happens to me, too. When I just let go, things work themselves out. Well, God works it out. Always amazing. Very nice memories here. 🙂

  4. Renee Jenkins says

    I chose the same prompt as you, so in addition to reading others, I made a special point to read other blogs on the same topic. You are blessed to have spent time with your grandfather and have memories to recall. My grandfather never said a word to me.

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