he would have been 87 years young today. and i have no doubt my grandpa is celebrating with a big ol’ pint of vanilla bean ice cream and entertaining the angels in Heaven with tunes on his banjo today.
with each passing year i am reminded just how lucky and blessed i was to have spent the 20 years i had with him. those two decades were filled with trips to balboa island, afternoons spent in grandpa’s “workshop” constructing doll houses and rocking chairs, puzzles and figurines. those years were filled with memories of grandpa scrubbing tar off our bare feet after a day at the tide pools, accompanying him on bike rides around the neighborhood, and taking adventures in his big blue van. he taught me how to tie my shoes, the importance of a strong handshake, and that sometimes the “mean & nastiest” grumpy old men have the biggest hearts of all. so when the calendar happens upon the second of october every year, i should be grateful for every moment of those twenty years i had with him. every shared ice cream and banjo duet. and gosh, am i ever grateful.
but that doesn’t mean i don’t feel a bit cheated sometimes, too. to have lost out on so many more. i know he’s never too far away -i see him in photographs and in thoughts of mammoth, and wood-working, fly-fishing, and ice cream. but sometimes i wish he could hold my hand just one more time and we could stroll along the boardwalk like we did that day this photograph was snapped.
so happy birthday grandpa. i miss you every day. thank you for loving me so dang much and for filling the twenty years we had together with so much happiness. i love you to the moon and can’t wait to share a bowl of ice cream with you in Heaven someday. i hear lactose-intolerance isn’t a thing up there.
(sorry mom and grandma, i know you’re crying. if it’s any consolation, i was crying when i wrote this, too).