Life is comprised of a lot of different moments. Many people would say that its made up of the big things that take you from one glory to the next. These big things can be comprised of a lot of factors like choosing to serve your country, meeting the person who’s going to change the course of your life forever, marrying that person, making the choice to build a family, the day your baby is born, and all the big moments that come with the responsibility of having a child, like graduations, job offers, and decisions to move elsewhere. I would say, though, that my Grampy, Karl Cook, born on November 9, 1923 to Karl Sr. and Hazel Cook, lived a life exemplifying that it’s really all about the little things in life that matter.
Among the big things that my Grampy did in his lifetime, serving in the army in World War 2 would be his biggest, second to being a loving husband, father, and grandfather to all his loved ones. Choosing to lay down one’s life in order to protect another’s is a huge act of bravery and courage I have only heard about in testimonies and stories throughout my short time here on earth. To have encountered, been held by, and gotten to sit alongside a legendary hero like my Grampy Cook is something I cherish, but I am more proud to have witnessed the way he carried his humble heart and quiet pride in being a worldwide, family, and hometown hero.
Not only was my Grampy a humble hometown hero, but he was smart behind the shelves and books at Northeastern University. Shortly after my dad was born, Grampy put himself through night school, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. Being the first member of the Cook family to Graduate from College, he was a true trailblazer that changed the course of history for our entire family, building a new foundation, legacy, and hope for us to rise on.
As a huge sports fan, Grampy lived through some of the highest of highs and lowest of lows in Boston sports. He thought he wouldn’t live to see the curse of the Bambino be lifted from the Red Sox, but dreams do come true and he lived to see that day with his own eyes in 2004. An avid golfer, he made a hole in one during one of the many games he played on the green, an accomplishment not many golfers can brag about. He passed on his love of Boston Sports and golfing to my father at a young age, and that is one thing that they consistently bonded over as father and son.
He was there for every sport event as my dad grew up and was the man that got up at the crack of dawn to bring my dad and all his friends to practice two to three days a week. He even did the mundane task of taking the equipment back to where it needed to go after practices. Even after moving away from home, Grampy would still think of my dad with the Boston Sport section and a letter, sending it to wherever he was every Money. This shows the true love and care he exemplified as a father, and the dedication he had to do what it took to see everyone his family succeed at their highest caliber.
He did this with such grace and affection for everyone in his life. He celebrated everyone’s big accomplishments by rooting for them on the sidelines and by showing up when it mattered most. He personally showed me this through countless golf cart rides in the park and sitting quietly with me as I would read a book and he his newspaper. Whether it was eating pizza at the restaurant with family or eating scalloped potatoes gathered around the table, I always knew Grampy was there. With every message sent on Facebook when I was off traveling and chasing after Jesus or in change of jobs over the last year, I was always sure he was watching with a light and encouraging heart. This brought such a comfort to me.
Hellen Keller writes “what we once enjoyed and deeply loved, we can never lose, for all that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” I think this is true of my Grampy Cook. He was a man who saw with such gentle joy and he had a character that always rooted for you through every up and down, never letting you forget it. As of late, he was always reminding me that God had everything planned and that it would be okay. Somehow, Grampy knew the right words to say at just the right time and that is something I see passed down through my dad and the multitude of people I have had the privilege of knowing because he is my Grampy.
Grampy was loved, enjoyed, and cherished by so many in his lifetime. We must celebrate the good that he left behind in all of us and keep that example in our hearts as we learn to move forward. His legacy of making the little things the big things will live on in everyone’s hearts who had the privilege of knowing him and his memory now serves as the tangible, gentle, and humble love of Christ strung within the caverns of all our hearts.