Don always had a special connection with his first grandson, Casey. I think the two of them shared several endearing traits, including their economy of words. ♥ Don was a quiet man but not in an isolated way; he was friendly and easy to talk to. He was also an interested and patient listener; something that’s required if you want to understand what Casey (a man of few words) has to say.
Don was a teacher for over 30 years, so I suppose that could explain his ability to connect with Casey. But more than that, he was a big man with an even bigger heart. He had a quiet kindness about him that is hard to describe, but I’ll bet you hear many people speak of it when remembering Don.
Even in the past few years, when Alzheimer’s put a wall up that made it difficult to communicate with Don, I noticed that he always responded to Casey! Once, when Scott and I were sitting with him at dinner, I wasn’t sure he knew who we were. Casey walked up to the table. Don’s face lit up, he grasped Casey’s hand and said “Hey, Casey! How ya doing?” It was a little bit stunning, because I don’t think I had heard Don speak in nearly a year! His affection for Casey even broke through the fog of Alzheimer’s.
Here are a few photos of Casey with his Big Poppa. I will be adding more to this little gallery as I come across more photos.