Time spent with my grandfather in simpler times. Before computers, video games, cell phones and the mall. His home always felt safe and warm. I have fond memories of sitting on the porch talking with my grandfather as we watched the cars passing by. From my earliest childhood memories he was there, always eager to listen and giving me advice, the father I never had.
My grandfather was a wonderful husband and father of five. He dedicated his life to raising his family. He was a very strong man in his beliefs and would have been considered very opinionated. You always knew what his point of view was on any giving subject, from the price of gas, to the rising power bill or the local government.
My grandfather loved to fish, he would take me and my girl cousins to the Bay Bridge. This was and still is a very popular fishing bridge in Pensacola Florida where I grow up. I can remember packing snacks in the cooler, sure not to forget a couple of Barbie dolls and blankets. He never refused to take us girls along. However, we would have to listen to him fuss on every return trip home, that this was our last fishing trip with him. He had little fishing time, for baiting a hook, or removing someone's slimy catch. Little girls don't touch fish or squid bait. Oh yea, let me not forget the portable toilets grandpa had to frequently escort each one of us to. Oh, what fun this must have been for him.
When I was fifteen, my grandfather passed away too young from cancer. But not before leaving a lasting impression on my life. He taught me to be true to myself. Always have an opinion and fight for what I believed as right. He taught me there is no bond as strong as the bond of family. I would like to think that I have instilled in my two boys the great qualities my grandfather had, that made him a great father and grandfather.