My grampa was the apple of my eye, and I was the apple of his. He taught me how to play cribbage, scrabble, do crosswords. When I was young and would stay with my grandparents, he taught me poker and darts as well. He was always so loving and caring, and so much fun. When I was in my early 30s, financial circumstances forced me to move, and I moved in with my grandparents for about three years. I treasure that time. He had not yet officially been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, but the decline was there. When I first moved in, we could still play cribbage if I counted his points, but scrabble was no longer possible. As time went on, even cribbage got to be too much for him. All I could do was spend time with him, talking and asking about memories. I got to hear so many of his navy stories. It was wonderful. I married and moved out of the area, and only saw him a few more times. He continued to decline, and finally passed just before his 89th birthday. He was both a father figure and grandfather to me, and will always be my hero.
Nevada City, CA