Why My Grandpa is One of My Favorite People

My grandfather, Charles Daniels Jr. has been threatening to die for many years now.  It started when I was in my twenties.  I remember saying just live long enough to meet my husband… then come to my wedding, meet my first child, my second child (whom is born on the same day as Gpa, 89 years later)…  He keeps holding on, and I’m blessed every day he is with us.  He recently endured another surgery meant to improve ongoing pain.  Some days are good, some are not.

I live on the other side of California from him and visits are difficult.  We don’t know how much time is left- we never do, right? In thinking about how sad I will be when he is gone, I realized I should keep taking what moments I can to tell him how much I love him. Hence the following list of small reasons that my grandpa is one of my favorite people ever.

  1. He introduced me to photography.  He bought me my first camera, a small rectangle thing that used flash cubes.  I was, maybe, 7 years old.  He took me out and showed me how to take pictures, then we went to the drugstore and had them developed, then we ate ice cream.  He is an avid photographer himself and keeps amazingly detailed photo albums, primarily of our family, his world travels, and airplanes.
  2. He taught me the longest word.  Antidisestablishmentarianism.
  3. To teach me about ratios, we made Cadillac Margaritas.  No, I didn’t get to drink them till I was old enough.
  4. He used to play restaurant with me.  I would serve him food and write out bills and he would pay me with checks.
  5. We played roulette on a small plastic setup.
  6. He taught me to dance to crooners like Frank, Bing, Dean, and the other old guys.
  7. He picked me up from school when I was sick, often.  Grandma was really the key to the great sick days at their house, but it was Grandpas bathrobe that always made me feel better.
  8. He gave me his baby blue 1978 Cadillac Coup de Ville when I turned 15.5.  I drove that road yacht for many wonderful years.  It had power windows and seats, radio presets buttons, velvet seats, curb feelers, wood paneling inside, and amazing power steering.
  9. He used to take me to get donuts with my brother. We could each pick two!
  10. He would sit and watch us in the pool for hours and days but never, ever, go swimming.
  11. We played Dr. Jekell and Mr, Hyde.  He would chase us around till we screamed our heads off and G’ma got so mad she would yell, “Jesus Chuck, give it a rest, its time for bed!”
  12. He and Gma would rub my back till I fell asleep.
  13. He and Gma put me up in a nice hotel in Helsinki when I went out to meet them on one of their trips.  I was backpacking, so this was heavenly. We ate an amazing meal.
  14. He and Gma taught me to love travel, brunch, Ruths Chris, and mimosas.
  15. He taught me some French, and how and when to use it.
  16. He taught me manners and grace (I’m still working on those).
  17. We would guess how long the sun would take to set.
  18. He would always, always take me to the club pool to swim.  He loved to watch my brother and I do laps.  He would talk about them for days. We also played ping pong, he was pretty good.
  19. He almost always uses my family nickname. Even though he spells it differently than everyone else in the family.
  20. He always gives generous gifts, mostly in his time, love, adoration, advice, and hugs, but the occasional check is nice too.

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