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February 4, 2010

Going The Distance



It all started on a bike ride.  Carter, Tanner and I decided to take cookies, and raspberry jam to Grandpa and Grandma Larsen, who just live about a half mile from our house.  Carter and Tanner jumped on their bikes, and I rode on Carter's scooter.  We got to their house, and Grandpa couldn't get over the fact that I was riding a scooter, and carrying the treats.  He kept saying "You're going to fall down", "Don't hurt yourself Erin."  I assured him that I was just fine, and he just had to watch us ride away to make sure that I was safe.  This happened about once a week or so this past fall.  
After 90 wonderful years on this earth, Grandpa passed away on Dec. 12th, 2009.  We miss him so much.  I had no idea of his plan to get me a wonderful gift for Christmas.  I received an envelope on Christmas Eve from Grandma Larsen, and this was the poem that was in it:

GOING THE DISTANCE
We know a nice lady, tall, pretty and bright,
She makes every one feel they are great in her sight.
Word has it she's famous for this and for that,
She solves problems, or course, without caring a tat.
Going the distance!

This poem by an amateur meant to praise,
Gives rave reviews to this lady's ways.
What can I do to help, comes from her lips,
Doing what was required she never took tips.
Going the distance!

Her roll as an in-law she's perfected with style,
Managing to do it her way all of the while.
Gramps knew who to ask cause she gets it done,
"I'll ask Erin," he'd say, "and she'll make it fun."
Going the distance!

One day on a Scooter she came with her sons, 
Them riding bikes and her scootering along.
Baked cookies in a sack were held safe in her hand,
She managed the distance and was fearless to stand.
Going the distance!

Gramps has gone a-wall, meaning he's gone away,
But he left a gift for Santa to bring on his sleigh.
"I love you, Erin." was attached to the new bike.
Gramps will always be there but not in plain sight.
Watching Erin, "Going the distance!"
By: Betty June Larsen

I have a list of Sporting Goods stores that Grandpa had written out and called to ask them about their bikes.  He didn't get to choose what bike to get for me, but Grandma still helped Grandpa carry out my Christmas gift.  With the help of Derek, Grandma Larsen picked out the greatest bike for me!  I could not believe it!  Derek came riding into the family room, and tears filled my eyes.  I don't think I have ever received such an amazing gift. 

Today was such a beautiful day.  Carter and Tanner jumped on their bikes, and I got on my brand new bike for it's very first time on the pavement!  We just had to go to Grandma's house.  She sat on the front porch with tears in her eyes, saying over and over again, "He's here watching, I know it, he's here."  There was a wonderful spirit there while we rode our bikes around her neighborhood.

As I sit here and contemplate all of the wonderful memories we have with them, I am overwhelmed with the desire to be as great as I can be in this life.  Grandpa told the most amazing stories.  I could sit and listen to him for hours, and I did while we were living with them at Pickleville.  These last few summers have been so memorable, and it's because of them.  We would lay in bed and listen to them talk beneath us, about the show, and about how blessed they were.  Every night after they would say prayers we could here Grandpa say, "I love you, Betty". 

So thank you Grandpa, thank you for my beautiful bike, thank you for inspiring me to be a better person, and making me want to strive to Go The Distance. 
1, 2, 3.
Love,
Erin