He was a son, a brother, a husband, a father, an uncle, a farmer, and a card player. But to me, in my world, he was my Granpa. He was all mine.
When I was very small, I didn't live very close to my Granpa. But I remember him coming to visit and how exciting it was to have him with us.
I remember going to the plumeria trees and picking flowers to make leis for Gramma and Granpa's visit. I remember my sister and I would fight for laps and hugs and just time with him and Gramma.
And then we had the joy of moving closer to them. We lived with Gramma and Granpa while our house was getting ready. My sister and I loved story time before going to bed. My sister and I would be tucked into bed with the closet light on to keep the monsters away. Granpa would come in and sit next to us on the bed. He would be in a clean white shirt and his evening overalls, with his signature scent of Old Spice filling the air and coating us like a comforting blanket to fill our heads with the sweetest dreams. The infamous Strawberry Story will never be a forgotten bedtime tale...
We lived only 2 houses aways from each other and we got to share many dinners, birthdays and holidays. My sister and I could just run up the street to spend time embroidering with Gramma and cards with Granpa. Some nights would be a evening drive with Granpa on the 3-wheeler to go pick and eat mulberries or to check the gate at the farm. Or maybe a little music and dancing in the living room after dinner.
As years passed and as I got older and moved away, I still had the joy of many dinners, birthdays and holidays to spend with Gramma and Granpa. This past year was the last Christmas and the last Easter I will ever have with him, but how lucky am I to have these and all my other memories.
There are so many other memories that I will cherish forever. I know my memories are mine and are different for all the people that knew this special man and I am finding so much joy in my memories. Because he was mine. He was my Granpa.