Your grandfather passed away today. Your fathers father- Wayne Milam. He passed out while driving with your aunt Chrissie, and crashed into a fence. The accident itself did them no harm, but apparently his heart was so damaged he could not be kept alive.
I've been trying to decide on what I would write in this post, summarizing a life in a few paragraphs, and I realize how little I knew about him. So I apologize if the brevity of this post doesn't do him justice. And if some of the points are construed as negative, I'm just sharing the whole story with you and trying to show his "quirks".
Your grandfather served in the army and did a tour in Korea around the time your aunt Chrissie was born. He actually didn't meet Chrissie until she was about 9 months old. While in the military he worked as an MP (military police) and worked with the K-9 unit. This is where he says he became a dog person and became a (self proclaimed) expert trainer.
He was a part of paternal twins. His twin brother was Paul who passed away about 3 years ago. He and his brother were VERY close and lived together for many years. Paul is a whole other story to be told another day... He also had two sisters.
But your grandfather believed that twins skip a generation and he believed (so badly wanted) that you could be twins. Obviously, that didn't happen. He also was certain that you were a boy, and he admitted to wanting you to be a boy. (Wrong again). Don't get me wrong, He was thrilled to have you here, and loved that you were a girl, but I don't believe it was but a few weeks after your birth and he was asking about "when we were going to start trying for a boy".
Your grandfather was stubborn. If he believed something to be true, no one else could tell him otherwise or even think something differently. He got snippy with your aunt Chrissie in regards to a bundt cake- telling her that "bundt" was in fact the flavor of the cake, not the shape in which it's baked. Of course, your aunt is an avid baker like myself and knows that to be hogwash (although I think you don't even have to be a big baker to know that...)
He was also convinced that other than myself and your father, that he was the next closest in DNA to you. Science would prove the correct answer to this to be your aunt Chrissie.
He was a real homer when it came to sports. Loved the Ravens and Orioles. He would often times come to our house to watch games.
When he would describe a food, often times speaking of what he'd bring to our house as contribution towards dinner or our cookout, he'd be very descriptive. Chicken breast was "fresh plump grade a breast". Fish was "thick wild Alaskan tuna steaks". Humorous trait, almost as if he was reading it from the store ad.
He loved fishing and often spoke of how anxious he was to teach you in the future. I don't know the last time he wet fishing with his hips (had them replaced).
One thing he wanted more than anything was a normal home life. He wanted the wife who would make dinner for the family, and sit around together at the table and eat. With your grandmother, when he was married to her, she rarely cooked. Instead every night she took the brood over to mamaw and papaws house for dinner (that mamaw made) and ate with a huge group of people. Your grandfather wanted nothing more then to sit at his table with his family and just be normal. That's one reason why he was so fond of me- I am giving your father the life he wanted. Homemade dinners, I bake, we eat together... Etc.
I have very few pictures of him where he is smiling. We joke saying that it's the Milam face to look so serious, but he often times was uncomfortable due to his hips. I truly don't know if I have any picture of you and him together, which upsets me. But here is a photo from our wedding, the only one he smiled in and one of my favorites ever of him:
One thing is for sure- he loved you. He thought you were just the most amazing thing to have happened since your daddy and aunt Chrissie were born. He loved your smile, he would exclaim how advanced you were, how beautiful you are, and was convinced that you were showing signs of being left handed.
Rest in peace, dad.