I lost one grandfather in July, and now I have lost the other. Grandpa P was a World War II paratrooper, and he worked for the Boy Scouts of America for many years. He loved fly fishing, and he always let us give it a try, along with making arrowheads and shooting a long bow. My mom had his old parachute, and we played with it for hours. In childhood, Grandpa mesmerized me with tall tales told so convincingly that for years I believed the impossible tales of a bear who ate himself up and a flock of geese who flew off with a lake frozen to their feet. We spent hours playing Mancala, Four Kings in a Corner, and Triominoes, and he always had popcorn and lemonade for grandchildren to enjoy, as well as an assortment of candy. Grandpa loved music, and I loved that when I played the piano and sang in their living room he always came in to listen. He always knew how to make me feel beautiful and appreciated.
Grandpa had an incredible memory for places and dates, and fascinating stories to tell from his childhood, youth, and career. He adored my grandma, and there was never any question that he considered her the most beautiful woman in the world. I was able to see him several times in the past couple of years, including a lovely evening with my kids when we were in Utah in July. I am so grateful for that, and to have had him in my life for so many years. Grandpa, I miss you. Thank you for teaching me to smile, laugh, and savor the happy details of life.