I know we haven’t had tons of time together, only seeing you 2-3 times a year, but I enjoy the time I have been able to spend with you. You’re the only Grandpa I’ve known, but you’ve fit the bill perfectly. I can’t imagine anyone doing a better job of it.
I remember all the interesting things I would get to do when I visited as a kid. Driving hours and hours to be with you on Christmas, all of us cousins ripping into a stack of presents in the living room. We’d go down in the cellar to check out all the new wood gadgets you were making. I think I even still have a medal toy soldier you had made. Hiking back behind your old house, trying to avoid cowpies, hunting for fossils and I believe I even shot my first .22 with you back there. I remember sitting on the porch with the whole family, probably 4th of July weekend, in the heat, playing cards or board games and probably losing to Aunt Janet.
We always wait in anticipation of one of your stories. Ok, maybe not “wait in anticipation”, but whenever you get started everyone knows to shut up and listen in. Whether it’s a joke you had just heard from a buddy or a story about some guy you once knew, we all want to hear. I guess I take after you in that way, staying quiet most of the time; it only makes people want to listen in more when you do speak up. Makes everything seem a bit more important when it is said.
So, with memories of cowpies, greasy fingernails, quiet stories…I’ll miss you.