“Tell me about your grandfather,” Hamish asked softly. From where I was laying against him I could feel the world rumbling through his chest.
“You know all about my grandfather,” I answered simply.
“I know,” He played gently with the pieces of hair that had fallen loose from my pony tail at the base of my neck, “I know he was my grandmother’s childhood best friend. I know what my grandmother thought of him, and I know what he said about himself, but I want to hear your version. Tell me what only a granddaughter can see about her grandfather.”
“Okay. Well—he was kind, first and foremost. He knew there were hard parts of life, and everyone had to face them, and sometimes he had to be responsible for them, but he tried his hardest to be kind. I remember once he had to fire a mechanic at his shop because the higher ups said he had to go, and he sat down Mom, Andrew and Me and asked us all if it was okay if he took some money out of our savings to help the guy out. A couple thousand dollars to make sure that he could land on his feet, because he’d always been a hard worker for him, and he had a little girl. I remember that Mom was anxious and Andrew didn’t care, and I didn’t really know what was going on anyway, but Grandpa Dougie thought it was important, so we agreed, because that’s what you did when Grandpa Dougie thinks that something is important.
“And it paid off—boy, did it pay off. Grandpa Dougie had always been a small garage man, but he had some friends in high places, so he gave the guy two grand to help him in the time in between jobs, and a couple of contact numbers for places that might be looking for a high quality mechanic. We didn’t hear a word from him for two and half years, but then he showed up at our door step, briefcase in hand. He’d gotten lower level job through one of Grandpa Dougie’s recommendations, and began to quickly work up the ranks because he was a hard worker and he was good at what he did. He was now a kind of big deal at the biggest dealership in the city. He gave grandpa Dougie his two grand back, as well as another five grand that he called interest and a thank you. He also promised that when it came time for Andrew and I to get our own cars, we should swing by and see him and he’d make sure to get us a really good deal—and maybe a family and friends discount.
‘That’s the kind of person that Grandpa Dougie inspired people to be. You wanted to be your best around him. You wanted him to be proud of you. And you worked so hard to make sure that he thought of you as good as a person as you thought him.”
I turned and saw Hamish smiling up at the ceiling. “He sounds like he was a wonderful man. I wish I could have met him.”
“Yeah, me too,” I rested my head on his chest again, “I think he really would have liked you.”