Grampa’s Heart Note – Gayla Kirschmann

Some of the best years of my life were spent on my grandfather’s farm on the prairie of the South-Central North Dakota plains. He married my grandmother there who was a part of a group of emigrants from an Eastern European country now called Ukraine. They brought with them the knowledge and perseverance they learned there to successfully farm their new homestead’s here with some of the harshest conditions the United States had to offer.

My grampa was a hard working man who let all of his grandchildren know he loved them and did so without saying anything. He was playful, patient and always fair. He told us a story as we were driving home from town one sunny afternoon. Some outlaws had robbed a bank in another small town not too far away and “rode their horses up that butte over there (the one on the cover of “Grampa’s Heart Note”) and buried the money”. Even though I chuckle today, I still believe him although I never heard anything like that from anyone else. I trusted him in fun and when being taught other lessons in life. He made a very cool impression on this little girl when he reared up his white horse as he was leaving the yard with my uncle to round up cattle to move them to another pasture. Saturday afternoon TV was full of shoot’em up cowboy shows and here I had my very own hero right in front of me!

A grandparents death seems to affect small children the hardest. They are often closer to them than their own parents because of the personal attention, patience and experienced emotional care they receive. Processing their passing can manifest itself as a very deep and permanent sense of loss. “Grampa’s Heart Note” is a story about such a situation and how a little girl managed to keep the almost impossible task of holding his love and presence with her, always.