My grandfather was special to me for so many reasons. First of all, we shared the same birthday. In 7 days I'll be 31. In 7 days he would have been 90. He used to take Holly and I to Pizza Hut. He would cut my pizza up into bite sized pieces; the same way he did my steak when he grilled out for us at his home.
I remember once he and grandmother took Holly and I to Krystal's. I was probably 7 or so. There was a creepy guy who kept staring at me. My grandfather never touched his food. He sat with his hand balled into a fist the entire meal. When the man left, I caught him writing down his car tags as we left the parking lot.
I was baptised on Palm Sunday. My grandfather was so proud that day. He and my grandmother came to church to see my baptism and afterwards we went back to our house for a big celebration lunch. As we were walking in, he pulled me into one of his strong hold bear hugs. He told me with tears in his eyes how happy he was to see this happen.
When I started playing sports, my grandfather came to see me play. The first home run I hit, he found and made me sign it. He kept it until it dry rotted and then peeled the leather off and kept it.
When I got into high school, he took me and Holly to the Orange Bowl. It was a miserable loss to Penn State. I was being a sourpuss after the game, and he told me cheerfully that there was always next year and to never be a sore loser. (Still working on that one, Gia.)
The year after I graduated, I was car less. He loaned me a red blazer. (The hood he had painted himself with house paint. didn't match at all.) I drove that thing until the transmission literally fell out of it. He wasn't thrilled, but he never raised his voice to me.
When I got married, he was there...tears in his sweet blue eyes. Smiling like the sunshine.
When my father died he was there. He lifted me up, and loved me.
He always loved me. I always knew it.
I always loved him. He always knew it.
I miss him terribly already. My world won't be the same again.
I love you, Gia. Always and forever. Save some beer and pizza for me.