“A grandfather is someone with silver in his hair and gold in his heart.”

I tried to convince my son to dress as DooDaddy for Halloween. All you need is a cardigan sweater and a walker to pull off the look. And reading glasses perched precariously on the tip of your nose and an honest-to-goodness cotton handkerchief in your pocket at all times. Maybe a crisply folded newspaper with the crossword puzzle halfway filled in.

DooDaddy: “What word would you use for ‘nemesis’?”
Me: “How many letters?”
DooDaddy: “Oh, a whole bunch of letters …”
Mac Bower: “Archenemy!”
DooDaddy: “That’s exactly what I put!”

My son and my father are kindred spirits, you see. Mac has always had a special connection with his grandfather, whom he dubbed, “DooDaddy” long ago.

They would play with Matchbox cars when Mac was little. DooDaddy once asked where the cars were going, and my tiny son answered without hesitation, “opportunity.” They were going to Opportunity.

So now, as Mac is finishing school and preparing to make his own way in the world, I hope and pray he is indeed headed to Opportunity and that he will follow in his grandfather’s footsteps and work hard. DooDaddy’s work ethic is legend.

And that Mac will keep reading and stay informed about the world and politics and issues, which he and DooDaddy love to discuss and debate. DooDaddy is forever curious about everything and articulate in stating his views, while respecting those that differ from his.

I hope Mac finds a lifelong companion like my parents found each other. Saturday would have been Gmamma and DooDaddy’s 60th wedding anniversary. They were like two sides of the same coin. And I want that for my son, though I’ve never managed to find it for myself.

I pray my son chooses to see the glass as half full instead of half empty, another trait of my father’s. Because happiness is a choice. And sometimes it’s a difficult one.

And most of all, I hope my son remembers the bond he shares with DooDaddy and that he cultivates that same bond with his own children and grandchildren. Love. Acceptance. Accountability.

Because being a grandfather is a responsibility. And having a grandfather is a joy. Both of mine died before I was born, but I take great delight in watching my father be a grandfather to my son. The cardigan sweater and pocket handkerchief are just part of the costume. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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DooDaddy and Mac