oh gosh, @Nicholas. let's see if I can make it through this one.
  1. he was always there for me.
    I was a nightmare as a teenager and went through a ton of phases where I have no idea how he didn't give up on me, but he didn't. I've been told he saw a lot of himself in me, so I guess he just knew that if he hung in there with me, that I'd end up okay.
  2. he was basically my dad when my dad wasn't there for me.
    my dad and I have had our differences over the years and we've gone a few long periods without speaking. although it hurt, my grandfather was always that strong male figure for me in my fathers absence.
  3. he was unapologetically himself and taught me that it was okay to be the same.
    I mentioned this in my eulogy. it's probably the greatest thing he instilled in me but also the one that gets me in the most trouble.
  4. he always believed in me.
    even when he didn't understand what the hell I was doing. even when I didn't understand what the hell I was doing. he knew I'd land on my feet and that made me know that, too.
  5. he taught me that money is only paper.
    my grandpa always used to say "it's only paper." he grew up in a pretty poor family but he did well for himself as a police officer and he invested well. he made sure the family always had 100% of what we needed and most of what we wanted.
  6. he taught me how to paint.
    I love painting. I don't do it as well as he did, and stylistically we are completely different, but he still shared it with me, let me paint on his canvases with him, and so forth.
  7. he taught me to always face the door when I'm at a restaurant.
    my grandfather was a cop and would never sit with his back towards the door. he'd always watch the door so he was aware of everyone coming and going and would be able to react to anything if there were ever any issues. I've carried that with me for as long as I can remember.
  8. his marriage with my grandmother (62 and a half years) taught me about unconditional love.
    I know my grandparents marriage wasn't perfect--- no marriage is. but my grandfather loved her so deeply. he strayed away a few times when they were younger but he always came back to her. and he just loved her so dang fully. my parents had a really fucked up marriage and divorced 13 years ago, so I never really got to see their true love. but I saw my grandparents' love until the end.
  9. he taught me how to tell a good story.
    he was the best story teller. he always made me laugh.
  10. I know that there's a million more things to add here, but this is a good start. 💗 thank you for encouraging me to share.