In Remembrance of Austin E. Pond
My grandfather, Austin Evans Pond, passed away this New Year’s Eve. He was battling mesothelioma, a condition where asbestos in the lungs continually decreases lung capacity. He was a loving husband to his wife that went before him, a loving father to his two daughters, and a phenomenal grandfather to me and my three siblings. I remember as a kid when he would come to visit I knew that meant a trip to McDonald’s and a trip to the movies. When I was old enough to drive, he came down to visit and tossed his keys to me and told me to drive to town so we could go eat lunch. A little bit of backstory here, my grandfather loved his cars and always kept them in such pristine condition you would be convinced that the car was continuously new off the lot. For a seventeen year old with this knowledge, I learned a new definition of fear that day! Thankfully the trip didn’t end in disaster, though I remember getting a little over-zealous with the gas pedal when we first got started. I remember when the Texas Rangers were playing the St. Louis Cardinals, my sister and I would trash talk the Cardinals and Grandpa would do the same to the Rangers. We never got serious, it was just joking back and forth. He was also a little bit of a prankster, always acting like us kids were picking on him or a little bit of rough housing before he got sick. Religiously, my grandfather was devoted to his church, and I believe my mother’s way of getting me in church every time the doors were open originated with him.