Sucked. My childhood just plain sucked. Nothing is absolute though and there were some good times. Most of the time I just didn’t feel very safe. Again, no absolutes. In my case one of the biggest reasons I have good memories is because I had this amazing grandfather.

He was actually my step-grandfather and we called him by his first name: Art. I can’t think of that man and not smile. Art was the best person I have ever known.

He was heroic in how he helped me and my sisters. From our eyes getting $.35 for the ice-cream truck was beyond kind. No one else would have done that for us, ever. He shared his soda with us. No one else ever did that for us. He made us these delicious meals and no one else did that for us.

He did all these things out of kindness. That was a unique quality and he was probably the only reason we experienced generosity in our young lives. He was a good man.

When my grandmother was angry and yelling (which she always was) he would make us laugh as he imitated her behind her back. He took away our fear.

Art also built us these amazing go-carts. I still talk and reminisce about those carts with excitement. No one in the neighborhood had anything better. We had all we needed, Art gave us the best toy a kid could want.

These are just a couple examples of what he did. If you understand the life of abused and neglected children and the contrast of what Art did in comparison, then you know just how significant and wonderful he was.

When I look back on that I wonder why he did it. What made him so kind? He died when I was 16 years old. I hadn’t seen him for a couple years. If I could go back in time I would tell him about the impact of his tremendous heart… I wish I could just let him know the enormity of love and gratitude that I have for him.

Art and goodness are synonymous for me.