I don’t have good relationships with my family. There was only one grandparent that I can honestly say I believe they loved me. That was my grandfather on my mother’s side. I was his favorite.
We used to spend hours together. Most of that time was spent playing cards. He used to cheat. Really cheat. Never to let anyone win, just him.
Later I realized it was to teach patience. I was the only grandchild who kept playing.
After a while (years) he finally started playing fair. He still won. The man could play cards.
We mainly played rummy 500. It took me many years, but I did beat him. He would never play aces unless he had all of them.
I learned so much from him. Cards, how to make fart noises with your hands (he used to do it at the dinner table), and some creative happy birthday lyrics. But also really important things too. Don’t give up, patience, how to read people, when to be funny, how to lighten the mood, how to love, how to show love, etc. I even wrote my college essay about him.
He had health problems. PVD and cardiac issues. He lost his right leg from PVD. He recovered and was walking and driving. He even progressed to not need the cane. He had a pacemaker and 3 sextuple bypass surgeries. The last of the 3 he was told he had 6 months or they could try it. There weren’t good odds. But he never gave up. He didn’t leave the hospital after the surgery.
He was in the ICU for over a month. We all flew down to say goodbye. But he held on. They moved him to a step down unit and we went home. The night my grandmother didn’t sleep in the hospital, he lost his fight. Maybe he knew it was ok to give in this time. I was in 8th grade.
I still miss him.