My dad and K., the ballerina. He always goes to things the kids are in, including four hour long dance recitals. My kids don't really require him to do this anymore, but Sissy's do.
He makes sure to spend time with each of his grandchildren. He teaches them to golf, he takes them out to eat, to museums, to the movies. He takes them to the beach to give their parents a vacation. He buys goldfish crackers for the little ones, and he always made sure to have ya-ya's (aka. Raisinets) when J. was a toddler.
Oh, and my dad was a rocket scientist. Really. Kind of humbling.
I'm NOT a rocket scientist.
Grampa C. and J.
He was a good snuggler with the grandchildren. He always gave them candy and made them take two pieces at a time, "one for each hand".
Boy, do we miss him.
He told this awful chicken joke.
"Did you hear about the chicken that got arrested? He was using fowl language!"
He loved that joke. Even when the Alzheimer's progressed and he forgot lots of other things, he remembered that joke.
My MIL runs into people now who remember her as being the wife of the man with the chicken joke.
He loved to make people laugh. And he did.
Grampa R., my grandpa. This was at their 40th wedding anniversary party. It's one of the few pictures I have of him smiling.
He used to take a nap on his sofa and pretend that he dropped change out of his pocket. My sisters and I would race to the living room to find all the change that somehow "spilled" out every time we went to visit.
He took us on the "rounds" on the mornings we were there during our visits to their home. The "rounds" meant going to see three or four of his sisters. He was the baby of twelve children and he always made sure to visit his sisters and brothers, almost on a daily basis.
After that, he would take us to a pub he hung out in with his fellow retired union members. He would have a beer and we would get an orange soda and a bag of potato chips.
Different times, back then.
He was the best grampa ever.
The Man's grampa, called Grampy. He was alive to see our son, J., born. I have a great picture of the four generations: Grampy, Grampa C., the Man, and J.
He was an avid deer hunter and got his last deer well into his 80s. He lived to be 100 years and three months.
The Man's other grandpa, Grampa W.
I didn't know him. He passed away long before I came into the picture.
My MIL loved this man deeply. She can't talk about him without tearing up. He was the biggest, the best, the smartest, the funniest, the best dad a girl could ask for, if you talk to Mom.
That 's what I think of Mom, so the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
Thank you to all the dads in our lives, past and present. You're the best.