My grandpa was a big, burly kind of guy. I picture him best with his scratchy red and black flannel hat, the kind of hat that looks best when riding a tractor. He had rough, work-worn hands that scared me a little when I was really small. I was just not used to seeing and feeling the kind of hands that took charge of the tough kind of labor he accomplished each day.
As I grew, I not only got used to those rough hands, but I grew to love them. He had a special chair in the living room that was just for him. But that certainly didn't mean he was the only one who got to sit in it. In fact, I suspect that he sat in it after a days work just so I could hop up and sit with him. When I was sad or frustrated about something, he'd always say 'Why, I'm sorry, Erinn.' I would always tell him, 'Grandpa, it's not your fault,' because it wasn't. It never was. He'd always come back with a big grin full of love and a response of 'Well, I'm still sorry.'
It always made me smile because I knew he really meant it, and he had a way of telling me so with a smile on his face. I can still hear him say it, and it still makes me feel better. Especially if I picture him in his flannel hat.