I miss my grandpa every day since he passed away in 1994. It just seems that after being so blessed to have him in my life for 38 years, that not having him 14 years makes the memories of him brighter.
My grandfather was a very special man who left home in Wisconsin when he was 16 and never looked back. I don't think he ever spoke about what he could have done that he didn't, he spoke of what he did and was doing in the here and now.
My grandfather Ralph Ayou started out as a cow hand on a ranch in Montana & according to my grandma Alice Gibson-Ayou, he was greener than anyone she had ever met or seen in her life. But it didn't take long for him to win over the hearts of the horses and my grandmother.
I can tell stories about them, but there just wouldn't be enough time to tell them all. I remember grandma telling me they got married and that night when they went to bed (they had a room in the main house of the dude ranch, because my grandma was the cook and the bookkeeper). The crawled in bed and all was fine, but when grandpa did, the bed collapsed, bells were ringing and jingling. Seems the other workers on the ranch sawed the legs off the bed and attached bells to them. Grandma said you could hear them laughing downstairs.
My grandfather was a hard worker, an honest man who never took a nickel that didn't belong to him and a great Harness Horse Racer. My mom was an only child who was raised on ranches and had a great childhood growing up around the horses.
So, it was only fitting for my first Compassionate Quilt to be a pillow cover with my grandfathers picture on it for my mom. I chose maroons and golds because my moms primary living room colors are maroon. But I chose the sunflowers because my grandfather brought so much sunshine to my life.