I only had a small glimpse as a child of what it was like to have a grandfather. My dad’s dad died when he was twelve and my mother never knew her father. When my dad married Peggy I gained aunts, uncles, cousins,brothers and sisters, all of which I already had and this was just more people to love and be loved by. Grandpa Abbott though, he was a first for me. My stepmom’s dad was what I would like to call the perfect grandpa. He was welcoming, loving, and kind. He had a way of making all his grandchildren feel special, even me. He had this quietness, almost a shy temperament, but with a devious smile, and a joking spirit. He was always sitting at the kitchen table drinking coffee, in all the memories I have of him. I was a very shy child and I would watch him from across the table, completely fascinated by his charm. He would look across the table at me, smile with that devious smile, and take his hot spoon that he had stirred his coffe with and hit the top of my hand with it and we would both laugh. He died of cancer a few short years after I met him. I was actually visiting my mom in Texas for the summer when he died. I remember hearing the news and crying. Later my cousins had shown me pictures of when he was sick and it was devastating. Im happy I have no memories of that. I only remember the strong smiling man from the kitchen table. My dad absolutely loved him. I think he had so missed having a father figure of his own, and I can relate to that now, with the way I feel for my father-in-law, Greg.
My relationship with Greg is a relationship I treasure dearly. He is not just my father-in-law, but a friend, a shoulder to cry on, a listening ear, and a smile across the table. Although I am so grateful for the relationship I have with him, I’m even more thankful my children will grow up with a grandpa. He is the epitome of what a grandpa should be. He is doting, patient, kind, loving, and protective. I wish I could say that was some big secret that only I knew, but the truth is, he is loved by everyone that knows him, and by everyone, I mean EVERYONE! The man knows everybody!
There is a video taken at the hospital of Todd coming out to tell our families that Nash was a boy. Greg’s laugh and huge hug to pull Todd in, is one of my favorite moments ever captured on video. He exudes the pride he has in his family. To say he and Todd are close, well, it’s not saying enough. I remember the night Todd asked him to be the best man in our wedding. The shock and crack in his voice as he ran out of the bar to call Peggy and share the news. I have never seen a relationship between two men like I see between Todd and Greg. They are the most affectionate men ever. Sometimes I chuckle watching Greg stand behind Todd rubbing his head or his face. What’s ever more strange, is its not awkward at all. The love between them is very natural. Greg still hugs him and loves on him like he is his a baby boy, and I watch my husband for those few moments revert back to that time.
Greg was newly retired when we had Nash. I can’t say we didn’t think about asking him to watch Nash, but I think we felt the same Greg probably did…an older guy, with a newborn. We knew he would watch him anytime we needed him to, but we weren’t about to make it a full time job for him. When Nash died, you can imagine how he must of felt. To see someone who had only ever loved his family, feel any amount of guilt or sadness is hard to watch. I still see him wrestle with that. When we became pregnant with Crue, it wasn’t even a question. He wasn’t going to daycare. Between my sister-in-laws and Greg, the three days I work were covered. This was a promise they all made to us to get Crue to a year old. I could write a whole separate blog on the things they have all done and risked to do this for us. I’d like them to keep their jobs though, so I can’t share. Now, my sisters are moms, enough said. I worried about Greg, not that he couldnt do the job, but that it may be way out of his comfort zone. Peggy, Todd’s mom, still worked and once in a while she would have the day off to help, but for the most part, Greg was on his own. Through this last year he has done it all; changed poopy diapers, fed him, rocked him to sleep, and played with him endlessly. To see Greg come into his own with watching Crue has been amazing. He soon had formula, food, nursery water, diapers, and bottles of his own that he kept at the house. If I stopped by and needed a bottle, Greg would always remind me that was his bottle for the house. He liked his own stock pile. It seriously is one of the cutest things to see. Greg prides himself on having all of the things Crue needs. He has also let me know a few things he feels Crue likes and dislikes, just in case I didn’t know. Other then Greg wanting to feed him every time he looked crosseyed, I have no complaints. He did an amazing job! Most of the time, he even had him two out of the three days. Now, to see Crue and Greg together is just plain rediculous. There is no place on earth Crue would rather be then in Greg’s arms and Greg thoroughly enjoys this. If Todd, Greg, and I were standing in a room, he would choose Greg 100% of the time. To see Crue not only have a grandpa, but have the bond he has with his grandpa, makes my heart melt. Like Crue has been healing to me, I see he does the same for Greg. Like me, Greg will always love Nash. Nash will always be his first grandson. That hole will never be filled. Watching Crue bring back some of that smile I had seen dim in Greg since Nash’s passing, I don’t have the words. Sometimes I feel some people may look over how important of a role a grandfather has in our lives. To me, it’s one the most important relationships we will ever have. I’m happy Crue has that. I’m happy Nash did as well. Grandpa Greg, I know you are reading this because you always send me a text after every new entry I post. I love you! Thank you just doesn’t cut it. You are one of the most amazing people I have ever known,and I’m glad I have you. I’m glad my boys have you. You couldn’t be more perfect if I hand picked you from some grandfather’s catalog. One day, 50 years from now, when we allow you to go to heaven, know as one grandson kisses you goodbye, another will be kissing you hello! Not every grandpa gets that, it’s one of the perks of going through such a terrible loss, and of course being the best grandpa in the world .