I have known you for practically my whole life, and a lot has changed since you married Grandma back in 2006. I have grown up, and with that I have realized a few things I would like you to know.
First off, I would like to thank you for marrying my grandma. She is such a wonderful, strong, loving woman, and I am so happy that she found a man to take care of her and love her as much as I do. I am so glad that you chose to become a part of this crazy family full of loud (and fun!) men and women. Many men would have stepped into the position as "Step-Grandfather" and made the decision not to care for the grandchildren as their own. Thank you for making the opposite decision, and for caring so much about everyone a part of this family, blood-related or not.
Second, thank you for all of your lessons and encouragement. I know that I was already close to nine years old when you became an official part of this family, and that it took some time to get to know me. So I thank you for being patient with me, and always being there to slip me a dollar, teach me the "don't like it, don't eat it" phrase (even though your cooking is incredible, so of course I'm always going to eat it), and talk to me about everything and anything. And, as a side note, thank you for allowing me and teaching me how to use your computer, cooking that delicious turkey for Thanksgiving every year, putting up with my "sassy-side", and learning how to play board games so that us grand-kids could have someone else to play with (as well as teaching us "War," which was my favorite card game for four years straight).
Finally, although I know there are probably a hundred other things that I could thank you for, I want to thank you for being a role model. From the moment you walked into my life, I knew that I could always count on you, whether it was for advice, care, or just a simple laugh. I admire you for your ambition, your bravery, and your ability to make someone smile. Many qualities that you hold are qualities that I have looked up to and aspired to achieve from a very young age. I can never thank you enough for being such an incredible role model for my younger siblings and I.
When you first married my grandma, I'm sure you had no idea what you were getting yourself into. But I hope that you are happy to have found your place with this little family, because I'm sure glad that you did. It is as if God knew that we needed a grandfather, so He picked the perfect man to fill those shoes. It has been a privilege to get to call you "Grandpa" for these past ten years, and it will continue to be a privilege forever and always. Thank you for loving me as your own grandaughter. You are truly a blessing.