Even if I didn’t get a chance to meet my paternal grandfather until I was 22, after my reunion with my birthparents, there was no absence of love from him. Poppa D wrapped his big arms around me that very first time we met and somehow it felt like he never really let go.


In the years that followed we traded letters and chatted occasionally on the phone, and he was always sending me little care packages filled with his homemade jerky or wood carvings. And he signed each and every card and letter with his name and his signature drawing, one that made me smile every time I saw it.


When I announced my pregnancy with Cadence, one of the first gifts we received came all the way from Ainsworth, Nebraska, lovingly designed and built piece by piece by Poppa D. Cadence has already put a lot of miles on her old rocking horse, and still occasionally mounts up when she’s off on some random adventure.


I’m sure it won’t take Henry long to join in the fun, but until then, Cadence and Cosette and Leo will keep the saddle warm.









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