I only knew my maternal grandfather. My paternal grandfather dropped dead in his 50s, two years before I was born. He had immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1900s as a teenager, worked very hard, and raised a family here. All three of his children went to college. My maternal grandfather was born in the U.S. His parents had immigrated mid-century or mid-late century. (Mid-late 19th century, that is.)
Today is my maternal grandfather's birthday. He died two months before I turned eight years old and I still remember him fondly. We were always close and I think of him often. When my mother visited him during his dying days (we were living in different countries so it was a big trip for her, from France back to New York, leaving her husband who was working two jobs and her two children during the school year) he once said to her, during one of their conversations, "How I wish I could see Jane when she has grown into a young woman."
I like to think that he has seen me somehow and that he is with me, watching and giving me courage.
I wrote about him and posted a picture of him two years ago.
As I noted then, today is also the birthday of one of my cousins (we are almost twins; my birthday is three days after hers, same year of birth - we were our grandfather's birthday presents) and of Nephew the Elder, who is 39!!! (I can hardly believe that, but since Brother of Acts of Hope is 66, it must be true.)
My grandfather's name was William. My grandmother called him Will. Everyone else called him Bill, including his grandchildren.
I miss him.