Today is the second year anniversary of losing my grandpa unexpectedly to a heart attack. I miss him so much. He was one of the biggest sources of encouragement in my life - he truly believed that there was nothing that I could not do, more so than I even do. He would always call me up with a random joke. He gave all of us grandkids nicknames - mine was "Gator" - and would always call us by those names. He signed every card with the saying, "Stay on the attack arrow." He would send me at least 5 email forwards a day. He bought me and my sister sets of golf clubs because it was one of the chief passions of his life and wanted to do everything to share that with us. He was always sending me books, with notes of encouragement to reach for my dreams. He always would give us M&Ms whenever we visited, or bring McDonalds to our house whenever he and Grandma came and visited with us. Not a visit would go by without some money passing into our hands. He loved to celebrate everyone but himself.
His kindness and love for people went far beyond just us grandkids too - which I never realized unfortunately until he was gone. But he was a man who loved God and loved people and put himself last. He was an incredibly hard-worker, voracious learner, incredibly smart man. He was a connector and an encourager - he helped one guy in his company rise from janitor to management, and that man went on to own his own company and meet with various dignitaries from around the world. His reach extended far beyond himself - I remember getting my haircut once in Charlottesville and the lady who was working the front desk, seeing my name, asked if I was related to Robert Taggart :).
He had such an incredible sense of humor :). I know that why I laugh as much as I do and find humor in most everything is partly because of him - "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" was on AMC the other night, and I was just cracking up and remembering hearing Grandpa's laugh watching it as well.
My last memory, the last time I saw Grandpa was in the airport when I came back from the best trip of my life to Italy. He met my Grandma, aunt, and me each with a single rose for all of us, welcoming us back. I remember walking out of the airport with him beside me, not saying anything to each other, but so happy to be in each other's company.
I miss you Grandpa. S.O.T.A.A.