I remember thinking he'd be with me forever. Funny how when you grow older and people pass away, you see things in others that remind you of them. In a way I guess, that means he's with me somewhere always. My grandpa's attitude was very kind and gentle and he was sure of himself, yet never conceited. He was a quiet man, until you got him going. Some of his stories I never got tired of hearing. He was helpful and generous and smart and just all around a great guy. I remember how he'd look at me when I would get onto a topic he thought was crazy, which was a lot. He'd give me that half grin and just nod with so much love in his eyes. I never one time questioned his love for me throughout the years. The funny thing is, no one did. They just knew he loved them; he was the best kind of love. Sometimes when I find people that remind me of him in the slightest way, I can't help but like them. I hope that as I grow old, I have this same type affect on the people that love me. I hope they just know.
It's no surprise to a lot of you that my parents divorced when I was already an adult. I can not pretend that this was easy on me. I felt like the child had become the parent very quickly. I was sitting at grandpa's table in tears over the whole thing and just confused and he said to me something like (I won't quote, cuz i'm sure I won't do him justice) People are who they are, and they change over the years, and either they grow together or sometimes they grow apart. All you can do is love them. You don't want to try to change their minds, cuz they might hold you accountable. If I hadn't had that man through those years in my life, I honestly don't know who I'd be today. He kept me grounded. Always a rock and always someone I could depend on. I will certainly miss that guy forever.
BTW guys - he did tell me once when I was calling him for carpentry advice, "You are the son I never had." @dad, terry, cris and patrick ;)