my favorite memories of / stories about my grandpa.

yesterday at 1pm PT, I got a call saying I needed to fly to Florida because my grandfather's health took a bad turn. today at 1pm ET, he passed away while I held his hand. these are some of my favorite memories about my favorite man.
  1. the time when I was little and I said "I miss you" to him on the phone and he got in the car and drove to see me.
    I was too young when this happened to actually retain the memory but my mom has told me the story so many times that I feel like I can almost remember it.
  2. listening to cassettes in his car. Alan Sherman was a favorite for sure.
  3. how much he loved my grandmother.
    I was visiting a few years ago (the day I took this photo) and we went to lunch. when we were leaving, my grandma walked ahead of us and my grandfather said to me, "you see that woman right there? she's the most incredible woman on the planet." and he really meant it. he said things like this all of the time. he loved her so much. I loved their love.
  4. this picture of him on his wedding night drinking Seagrams Seven.
    what a bad ass.
  5. watching him paint.
    God, he was so good at painting and he loved doing it. he definitely instilled the love of art in to me.
  6. the time he threw out my Monopoly Junior because I wouldn't clean it up off the floor.
    in all fairness, I thought this was horribly cruel at the time but the fact that until his last breath he adamantly denied ever doing it makes me laugh every time I think about it.
  7. how he was unapologetically himself and always said what was on his mind. no matter how inappropriate.
    because, like, same.
  8. the time we went to Key West and he let me take pictures of the sunset on his film camera.
    my grandfather has a wall full of pictures of sunsets from places he's been yet he let a pre-teen me try my hand at photography on that trip because making me happy was more important than getting the perfect pictures. the pictures have been hanging up in his place since then.
  9. the time my cousin came to live with us and I wasn't adjusting to no longer being the baby/the only girl/the center of attention so he took me to KB Toys and let me pick out one thing that I wanted
    I picked out a super 90s Barbie. I still have her.
  10. every time he'd say "make sure you tell him I have a gun" about every guy I've ever dated.
    my grandpa was kind of like my dad in a lot of ways, this being one of them.
  11. how he always wore the hat I bought him.
    he was in the NYPD and a few years ago his old hat was too worn so I was in New York and bought him this one and he wore it every. single. day.
  12. how he always held my hand so tightly.
    until the very end.
  13. and would always do things like this.
  14. how he'd try to video chat with me even though he had no idea how to use it.
  15. I loved hugging him. I could almost never fit my arms around him but I'd always try to.
  16. all of his stories about being a police officer.