The first half of my senior year I lived with my Uncle Mark and Aunt Robin. I attended El Dorado High School in Placerville, California and while I was there I was cast in a play called ‘The Dining Room’. My Grandma and Grandpa Stanley drove from San Carlos to see me in the play.
At one point in the visit we all stood in the driveway talking. Mark and Robin, Grandma and Grandpa Stanley and me. I think Aaron was running around chasing a ball or something.
My grandpa stood next to me. While everyone talked my grandpa took a small step toward me and nudged me with his hip. It was a small movement; I don’t think anyone else even noticed. I didn’t look at him but I smiled and nudged him back. He smiled and he didn’t move away from me. We stood there a little closer to each other and listened to the others until we all went into the house.
I don't remember Grandpa Stanley ever being any more demonstrative than that, except maybe for a quick hug when we arrived for or departed from, our annual visits.
It might seem unimportant but that moment shaped me. In that moment, I knew my grandfather knew me and kept track of me, I knew he loved me and we both knew that we belonged to each other.