Fourteen years ago today, my grandfather passed away. He had been sick for many many years and finally he was sick no more.
Papa died just after midnight, Monday morning. On Sunday night, our church had their annual Christmas music service where members of the congregation performed special numbers and we all sang Christmas hymns. My dad sang "O Holy Night", a Christmas tradition. He hasn't been able to sing it since.
But on the more upbeat side, my Grampa was a riot. Big gruff-looking dude and he put on such a growly front. But that man was SUCH a puppy. Especially when it came to me, the oldest grandchild.
For years, we had a every-other-Saturday-morning breakfast tradition. Either I would spend the night with my grandparents or he'd come pick me up in his big red truck but without fail, we would go to McDonald's for breakfast. Just Grampa and me. And some pancakes.
We also camped and fished a lot when I was younger. So many memories of camping and hanging out around the fire. Cruising around the lake at ridiculous speeds - or so it felt to a little girl with pigtails.
I'm grateful that Joe was able to meet Grampa; we began dating in May of that year and of course it took a bit to reach the stage where the boyfriend was running into extended family. Grampa called him "Fuzznuts". I don't want to know why. There probably wasn't a why - that's just how Grampa rolled.
So here's to you, Grampa. You crazy ole bastard. I'm glad you were in my life for as long as you were and yet I really wish you were around for me to know you as an adult. I have a feeling that what I saw as a kid and teen barely scratched the surface.
P.S. Sorry if today's post is a bit of a downer. I actually wrote three other posts but this is what's on my mind. And, well, it's my blog. Come back for Six Word Saturday tomorrow if you're in need of something lighter.