I'm one of the lucky ones. Most of my life, my grandparents were just a short drive away. All of them. I had all my grandparents while I was growing up, and didn't lose the first one until I was in my 30s. I got to see them frequently.
Both my grandmothers adored me. Grandma always called me "number one grandson" and it certainly wasn't because I was her oldest, because I wasn't the oldest. Nana made all my birthday cakes for me when I was young and had an "I love my cadet" bumper sticker on her car when I got older. My grandfathers were from that "greatest generation" and weren't very expressive with their emotions. I loved them, and I know they loved me, but what I really would like to know is if I impressed them. If I were to judge only from the big picture taken on graduation day at West Point, I know that at least I made them proud.
Nana and grandpa bought their house in late 1962. They were the first owners. I'm the second owner; grandpa died over 20 years ago now, and when nana's Alzheimer's got bad enough, I bought the house. I've lived here a dozen years last summer.
Gawd, I loved coming here as a child. I adored my grandparents, and they deserved it. But there was always a special treat at nana and grandpa's. See, the coat closet at the front of the hallway has a low shelf in it, and that's where grandpa kept his candy. Grandpa had a sweet tooth, and I inherited it from him. My dad's wife didn't allow us to eat candy at home when I was growing up, but we could always have a treat at nana and grandpa's. We'd raid that closet! And even when I got older, whenever I visited I'd make at least one trip to the "candy closet". Even after grandpa was gone, nana kept candy there. Most often she kept a large bag of Skittles in there, the better to refill the candy dish that was always on the coffee table in the front room.
That candy shelf in the front closet now holds light bulbs, furniture polish, air freshener, stuff like that. I keep a small amount of candy in a container in a kitchen cupboard. I got some candy for Christmas, and a few times tonight I went into the kitchen to get a piece. That's where I've kept the candy since moving in here over 12 years ago, in that kitchen cupboard.
So why, on my last trip to get a piece of candy, did I head to grandpa's candy closet?