My grandfather is The Man.
And although I never need reminding of that, I had a particular opportunity to appreciate Bill Scroggins, aka Popaw, this past weekend.
It is a rare and special man who, while hospitalized for a kidney ailment, can still make jokes, share his wisdom, laugh at all my dumb stories and describe his four days of medical captivity as “a blur of hedonistic joy.”
Of course, it is also a rare and special man who loves his granddaughter as he does his own children — who helps rear her as a father and reserves a sacred place for her in his heart.
I was, you might say, rather a surprise when I arrived on the scene in 1976. Some would use the word “accident;” others would call me “an unexpected gift.”
To me, however, the gift is my grandfather, who has given me a daddy’s love for almost 34 years, never allowing me to want for the father I did not know. In being my “dad,” I like to think my grandpa has led me to the Father. For how else would such a beautiful relationship be envisioned and brought to be, but through the love of God?
My grandfather is the man to whom I compare all others: brilliant, funny, clever, caring. He played Matchbox cars with me and taught me to love UK basketball. He made me tuna salad sandwiches — as only he can — and walked me down the aisle at my wedding.
Although I certainly don’t relish a long weekend of, ahem, “hedonistic joy” in the hospital, I do savor the opportunity to pepper doctors with questions, ensure my grandfather’s comfort and safety and return to him some of the caretaking he has given to me for more than 30 years.
Now that he is back home and snuggled into his recliner, I embrace this chance to tell the world how much I love my grandpa. And how much I thank God for sharing him with me.