This is the second in a series to honor men who have been helpful by their examples.
Paul Larimore was a giant of a man to me. He stood well over six feet and more than 200 pounds, was a respected businessman, served as a civic leader, and commanded the respect of people. He did interesting things and liked to share those interesting things with other people, like airplanes and fishing and radios.
He was my grandfather. My middle name is Paul. My son is named after him. So is my nephew. So is his daughter, my mother (Pauline, in this case). He liked being the patriarch, and I liked it, too.
He was married to the same woman for more than 50 years. Grandma Ruth was the kind of woman who delighted in her family and wanted everyone around her to be happy. She would do her best to make people feel comfortable, welcome and included. The last few of those years Grandma was not well. I was just a boy and don’t remember the details, but she was sick a lot of the time and toward the end I don’t think she knew who I was.
But this giant, masculine man loved his wife, that was obvious because he didn’t try to hide it. He did as much as he could for her, though she couldn’t do anything for him any longer. And he made sure she was in her own home for her last days on this earth.
He died in 1991 and I wish he could have met my children. I think he took particular delight in his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Maybe my Paul’s disabilities would have been hard for him; I wonder about that sometimes.
But he taught me a great many important things. This is one that may be the most important: you love and serve your wife right to the end, no matter the cost. And that example has helped me already, only 21 years into my own delightful marriage.
I know what loyalty looks like; Lord willing, so will my children, and yours.