Grandfather would help me with my school studies, namely anything to do with numbers. The lessons weren’t restricted to the kitchen table. Going from place to place, he’d have business radio tuned on the dial and explain financials and economics to me as they were broadcasted. He encouraged me to ask questions, as many as I wanted. What he couldn’t answer, we would figure out together. There was always an answer. “We just have to find it, that’s all.” First stop, the books.
He would show me his scribbles from his projects and assessments. He’d teach me how to build and repair what seemed to be anything that could possibly be built and repaired. Grandfather was always on top of things, precise and confident. “Measure twice, cut once”, he taught, was not limited to carpentry but in other aspects of life as well. “Sometimes you have to make your own measure” meant more than counting paces to estimate the length of a room or pathway.
When he wanted us to go out for dinner, with a grin on his face he’d ask me if I wanted him to take Grandmother and me to his favourite café…which was not her favourite. In her quick protest, and before I could answer, she always told him that I didn’t want us to go eat there. We’d laugh about it. Sometimes we’d go anyway. Sometimes another place, but still such a treat to be at the same table with these great minds. I’m grateful of his inclusion when I was able to take part.
Grandfather taught me a great deal about so many things in so many ways. I still learn from him every day. When I work on repairs around the house, write out arithmetic, problem solve, or balance a budget, I hear his resonating voice of instruction and encouragement.
As of yesterday, it’s been 13 years since he passed away. I miss him dearly. I don’t have many relatives who are accepting of me (almost all of the inclusive ones have died), but with him I know I have always been, and always will be, his grandchild no matter what.
And I know this to be absolute like I know that whole numbers are integers, and numbers are infinite.