An Open Letter to my Grandpa on Fathers Day

I don't talk a lot about my relationship with my father because it's not a very good one. When I was a toddler my mom left my dad because she had finally had enough physical abuse from him. When I was 5 and they were in the middle of a divorce he had kidnapped me and taken me from Alabama to California (where he lived) until my mom could save up enough money to drive across the country and get me back. After that I didn't really see or speak to my father for years and even then it was few and far between that we actually spent time together. But I don't want this post to be about the negative parts of my childhood, I want to honor the man who did raise me and teach me what it was like to have a positive male role model in my life, my grandfather (aka Peepaw). 

Dear Peepaw, 

Thank you for teaching me what it's like to be selfless and do things for everyone else around you. From helping you cut the neighbors grass who couldn't do it for herself, or when you went to pick up my mom and me in California to move us back to Alabama when I was a baby. Or the time we had the Alabama blizzard of 93 and you walked 5 miles with me in the snow to Nanny's house just to feed my cat so she wouldn't starve. Or all the years you'd take my best friend and I to the haunted house and laugh while we ran through that place screaming in sheer terror and holding on to you to keep us safe. 

Thank you for waking me up at 4am when I was a kid to go fishing with you and letting me sneak coffee out of your thermos on the way to the lake. Thanks for buying me that clear blue pager I wanted so bad when I turned 13 even though we probably really couldn't afford it and I really didn't need it. Thank you for driving me to all of my friends sleepovers every weekend. 

Thank you for teaching me how to check the oil in my car when I got my first car so that I'd never run out or break down on the side of the road. Thank you for picking me up when I would break down on the side of the road! Thank you for giving me rides to my first job when I was a teenager until I could save up enough money to buy my own car. Thank you for vetting my high school boyfriends by taking them fishing to see if they were 'worthy of being my boyfriend' and then scaring them by driving your boat 80 miles per hour on the lake with them in it! 

Thank you for hauling all of my furniture across town when I finally graduated and moved out. Thank you for loaning me toilet paper money and grocery money when I was just figuring out how to actually budget my bills for the first time ever after living on my own. Thank you for teaching me how to be a good human being and what a good adult looks like. Watching you love Meemaw and our whole family so selflessly and unconditionally has been such a blessing in my life. Thank you for showing me what kind of husband I hope to have one day and what kind of person I strive to be every day. You are one of the kindest most giving people I've ever known who has never asked for anything or any sort of recognition for any good deed you've done. I love you Peepaw. Thank you for raising me and Happy Fathers Day. 

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