Today we got the news that Papa B’s battle with cancer is over. Even though it’s hard to say goodbye there is hope because we all know he is in heaven. I feel so lucky to have known him and been a part of his family and legacy of faith but even more so I’m glad my daughter, Jaiden, got to have a special bond with him. Anyone who knew Bob Burt would agree that he lived one of those amazing lives that impacted countless people. I could write a never ending list of all the remarkable qualities he had but the one that comes to my mind over all of the others is… generous.
I got to experience a glimpse of that generosity years ago when Richie and I were just dating. I lost my keys and left my car overnight parked at the Kitsap Mall and found out the next day that there’s a HUGE fine for leaving a vehicle and they tow you immediately. I went to the towing place to find out that I now owed hundreds of dollars to get my car back. I was crushed… it might as well have been thousands of dollars because I didn’t have it and I knew I couldn’t pay it. To make matters worse I had left my college books in the back seat of my car and I had a HUGE test the next day and needed to study. I left the tow place and headed to church to do media that night trying to put on a smile. I ran into Grandma and Papa B while at church and they had heard the whole story from Richie. They told me they were sorry and offered a much needed hug but then unexpectedly handed me a check for the amount I owed to get my car back. Tears flooded my eyes. Here I was just a girl dating their grandson not related or tied to them in any way but that didn’t stop them. They saw a need and knew they could meet it. I was so overwhelmed by their gracious and generous act! They made me feel like family which was exactly what I needed in that moment.
Their generosity in my life didn’t just stop there with the car story it continued. Over the years Richie and I have gone through dating, engagement, marriage and now parenting and every single step of the way Grandma and Papa B have been big supporters to us. From doing our pre marriage counseling to offering to watch Jaid any time we needed we have been richly blessed with amazing grandparents and great grandparents to our little baby. We have been so thankful to have them in our lives and I feel extra lucky that they took me in as family even before I was officially a “Danskin.” Papa B’s legacy of generosity is something I want to continue on to our kids, grandkids and maybe if we are fortunate enough someday great grandkids. We will be thinking of you tomorrow as we cheer on the hawks!