I love it when my Dad visits, which he did last weekend. He's a big kid at heart but also an awesome father to my sister and I and grandfather to Murray.
Murray thinks the world of him - we all do, but in Murray's eyes he is nothing short of a hero. The feeling is mutual. Grandpa Doug took part in water fights (the rest of us watched), pretended to be a jungle gym, took Murray on long walks, played endless games of hide and seek, and woke up every morning to cuddle and watch PBS. The two of them read books and sang songs and played Memory. He set up a tent and told the ghost story of the "Blue Bear" and practiced casting with a new fishing pole.
The special relationship that the two of them share brings a flood of my own memories. My Dad and my sister and I have always enjoyed a special bond, (although we were equally close to our Mom. We have great parents.) Dad held my hand when I was in pain, counseled me through fights with my friends, scolded me when I was late for curfew, cried when I went to prom, took me hunting and fishing, and put together my bunk beds when I moved into the dorm. He was there when my Mom was sick and died, helped me through countless heartbreaks, walked me down the aisle, and welcomed Craig to our family. When Murray was born, he was so excited he could hardly speak.
The best thing? He still does all of those things for his adult children. When I'm sad, he lets me cry. When I'm mad, he lets me rage. He believes in me and gives me (too much) credit. He gently lets me know if I'm wrong. He adores my sister and I, and wants to help us when we're in need. He has the hands of a worker and the heart of a child; never questioning, always loving.
No family is perfect and ours certainly isn't. We all have our ups and downs and battles to face. But at least we have each other. Thanks, Dad.