Today is my step grandfather's birthday. You don't know him, but I wanted to dedicate a post to him anyway.
Poppy (that's what I call him) married my maternal grandmother when I was barely two years old, and he has been the only grandfather I've ever known. (My grandmother's previous husband, my mom's father, was a recluse who remained aloof from his family to his death.) I am grateful for Poppy's influence in my life. He "walks with the Lord" and has a very charitable heart. Even now when he is has vision problems, has had several heart surgeries, and is 83 years old, he still volunteers at the baptist church he attends; until recently, he volunteered regularly with Habitat for Humanity!
He has been very supportive of me and my endeavors in life. While I was on my mission, he started to allow the sister missionaries over for dinner with the hope that someone in my area would extend the same kindness to me and my missionary companion. Every month while I was in college, he sent me a one-page letter and some "mad money" to treat myself and my roommates.
I love to spend time with him and learn about his history. He's also a wonderful cook and a great companion to have when watching a spaghetti western (his favorite) or going on "cemetery" adventures looking for my grandmother's ancestors. His hearty laugh is also comforting, especially when whilst at the cemetery, I trip over a grave, imagine that I've fallen INto it, and scream like I was in some horror movie. (We still laugh about this.)
I've learned so much from Poppy, and I'm very grateful that I've had so many wonderful years of memories with him. Happy Birthday, Poppy!