I just want you to know that in real life, I never would have called you "Frank" but I seem to be having the same trouble I had last year in the A-Z challenge with the letter "F". Last year I was doing biblical names and couldn't think of any. This year, there just aren't that many "F" names in my past to write a letter to. So instead of "G" for grandpa, you are Frank.
You were Grandpa Rice...not a flesh and blood grandpa, but real all the same. Since both my "real" grandpas had died (One 21 years before I was born and one when I was six months old), you were it.
I was both intimidated and fascinated by you.
Your word was law. At least it seemed that way to me at the time. We would come to visit you at your country home (Bleak House- named after the novel) and we would visit outside on the porch or sit (carefully) on the grassy hill.
We were not, I repeat, we were not allowed to stretch our small bodies out and roll down that hill. You had spent many hours working on the Bleak house lawn and you were not about to have busy little bodies messing up your work. So of course, we rolled. We would wait until you were deep in conversation with our dad, and we would roll , quickly, down the small knoll. If we glanced over to the porch we could see our mom trying to hide a smile while she motioned for us to stop "misbehaving".
You were so thin and your legs stretched on for miles. When you sat on our livingroom couch, you would cross your right leg over your left and then tuck your right foot under your left calf. It looked like your legs were braided together!
You called me Harry. the actual nickname was Happy Hairy. I just want to say right now, thank you for changing the spelling to "Harry" on all of my Christmas and birthday cards. :)
The last time I saw you, you were in a nursing home. I snuck some kittens in to show you. (I don't know if you were an animal lover or not, but I think you liked the idea that I snuck them in.) It was the only time in our relationship where we spoke of spiritual things. I don't remember exactly what I said, except that I spoke about Jesus and heaven and my faith. Your response was "I wish I could be so sure." I wish that I had stayed longer that day and maybe helped you along that path to assurance.
There is so much more I could write. Williamsburg trips, England trips, your relationship with my dad, your struggle with alcohol, you rmarriage with Grandma (whom you called "Pot".- What was it with all the strange nicknames?), your love of knowledge... You deserve more than just a short A-Z post.
I think I'll revisit you in May. :)