I was never very close to my dad's dad. Grandpa D was a tough, gruff guy who I always knew as a crabby old scary man. We lived over an hour away from where they live and my father never wanted to spend any time with them so my sister and I never really got to know him or my Grandma D.
A couple weeks before Grandpa D passed away, I called him and spoke with him for a long time. I had never talked with Grandpa D on the phone before. The conversation was very strange - he talked about getting old and how much he had seen and how happy he was with his children and his grandchildren. Before he hung up, he said he loved me. Three very little words that I had never heard from him before.
Tomorrow I start training for Grandma's Marathon in June. I want to run a marathon for several reasons, but mostly to prove that I can do it. My mom finally accepted that I am going to run (I can't really figure out what her opposition is to the thought of me running 26.2 miles). She told me that Grandpa D would be very proud of me and that he would watch me run while I was playing as a kid and always said I would be a long distance runner. She said that he would be watching me run the marathon and cheering me on. I'm counting on him carrying me through a couple miles.
I'm sorry that I didn't know him well. There is really no excuse for it. I was 21 when he died - plenty of time to get to know him, but I never did. Partly because I thought my dad would be angry if I wanted to spend time with his parents and partly because he was crabby and wasn't always a lot of fun to be around. I do feel like he is watching over me sometimes. I picture him sitting where ever he is, petting our old dog Max. He used to love to pet Max. Whenever he would come over the hair would fall of the dog in piles. I really wish I would have known him.