Grandpa George died when I was 8 years old. He went from looking healthy and strong, to being diagnosed with esophageal cancer and dying six months after that. It was a hard pill to swallow, and no one in the family was prepared for his loss. He was such a great man his legend still lives through this day.
Being the youngest in the family, I knew him the least. But the time we spent together was always the best. I’m pretty certain I was his favorite (but don’t tell my brothers and cousins!). I mean, I was his only granddaughter in a world of men. And the youngest to boot. I have two very special memories of him. The first one is about how much he LOVED Baby Ruths (the candy bar). He would hide them in the drawer of his bedside table so no one else would eat them, but he’d always share with me.
My second favorite memory of was of the two of us dancing together to some song that was playing on his radio. I don’t remember the details of what was going on that day, except that it was a holiday – probably Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Years. I was wearing dress shoes and pink jeans, and grandpa was alternating between twirling me around and letting me step on his feet, at the end of the longest pair of legs I’ve ever seen. In those moments I felt like the luckiest little girl in the world.