Anyone who knew my paternal grandfather knew he was a character. I think it was his goal in life to put a smile on other's faces. I believe he succeeded.
The neighbors across the street, if asked, would tell a story about the day they brought their newborn twins home... on the porch were two identical little baskets left anonymously from the elderly gentleman across the street. Each basket was filled with baby goodies, a hat... a comb, a rattle.
As a kid it was always fun to go to Mama and Fafa's house because I knew most likely he would chase me around the backyard like a gorilla or offer me candy as a special treat before going back home. It was like Disneyland. Always fun. Always laughter. Always love.
Here he is with his niece on his 90th birthday party (2005)
and again with the love of his life (1975)
Towards his later years - I was extremely humbled and in awe of him when I visited him in the hospital. He might have had a broken hip or some other ailment and this was one of various week-long stays where he was confined to a bed. If it was me... I would have been cranky and my bad attitude probably would have discouraged any potential visitors or nurses or doctors from visiting me again. Not Fafa. He accepted it with grace and joked and flirted with the nurses; made everyone feel at ease despite the fact he was in a place he didn't want to be. From the perspective of a young child and also as an adult, this is how he lived his life. Certainly something/someone to learn from.
Last week I moved into the house he shared with his wife and where they raised my dad and uncle. I won't go into the surge of emotions I felt walking through his vacant house for the first time since before his passing. But I feel very blessed to live here; take ownership and keep the house in the family.
However... It needs a bit of work... Wallpapering, painting, maybe a new roof... perhaps a kitchen remodel down the road?
Yesterday in the backyard, I unearthed remnants of other characters my grandparents invited into their lives...
Louie the Racoon...
Sammy the Squirrel
Hard-Hat McGee the Turtle
The Three Wise Men
Crackers - the poor guy is about ready to
quack crack up!
And last but not Least... Lenny the Flamingo...
He likes to hang out in the attic. Ok - he's actually has nothing to do with my grandparents, but instead is the result of a pre-move-in party my family and friends (characters cut from the same cloth) held in honor of me. Unfortunately I was not invited... but I was greeted one day - as I walked in with boxes - to see my vacant new house decorated with yard sale signs, easter eggs, stickers, Hawaiian Leis and various other goodies... including 'Lenny the Flamingo'!!