My grandfather died one year ago today. He was almost 103 years old. It is still hard to believe he is gone -- it seemed like he would always be around. Isaac got to meet him a few times, though he will not remember him well. But he will always be a part of me because he was one of the most influential people in my life.
I pushed myself to do well in school because Poppy expected it. College was not an "if" because Poppy expected I would go. He had very high standards which I strived to meet. I cannot say I got my love of books from him -- he read, but only the newspaper, the bible or a science magazine. It was my grandmother who read the novels. But I did get my value of education from him. He was always learning.
I do remember being very young, in elementary school, just learning to read, and reading my grandfather a book that I had brought home from school. I was practicing it, preparing to read it out loud to my class. It was probably excruciating for him to sit through. I don't remember what the book was, something about a playground, but after reading the leveled books that Isaac brings home I am sure it was not the most exciting book to listen to.
He did listen, though, and that memory sticks with me. I think about it as we read with Isaac many nights. I wish Poppy were around to listen to Isaac read. Though maybe he is listening. Somewhere out there.