Granddaddy Caines was an incredible man. It makes me sad when I think of how many men in my life that didn't have the privilege of getting to know him. Granddaddy died when I was eight, a few days after Christmas. Mac (whose real name is Haynes) is named after Granddaddy. One day, he will understand that privilege.
I was young when Granddaddy died, I guess a little older than Mac is now. But I remember him. He was fun and full of life. He and Granny lived in North Myrtle Beach and they ran a gift shop on the beach, Palm Den Gift Shop. Granddaddy never met a stranger, much like my Tavis. Granny ran the gift shop and sold beach gifts, t-shirts and jewelry, while Granddaddy ran a surf board rental shop and taught people how to surf (from his desk), even tho he had never surfed before.
As kids, our big memories of Granddaddy are that he always offered us Mello-Yellow and Milky Ways - that was his treat. Of course, we never got those at home, so we knew we'd get them on our week at the beach. He loved to let us ride the riding lawn mower. And, Granddaddy loved to tell stories. He had a story for everything.
When I hear my Dad tell stories of his Dad (Granddaddy), it is funny to think that the strict man that raised him is the same gentle, goofy grandfather that we knew.
His name was Haynes Caines (no lie). He dropped out of school after 3rd grade to get a job to help out of the family - he was one of 13 kids. He served in the war as a medic. He then had to move his own family from South Carolina to New Jersey to find work. When my Dad was very little, my Granddaddy lost his 6-year old son after he was struck by a school bus after school one day. No doubt, that changes you forever. It was not until he "retired" that he and Granny moved back South to North Myrtle Beach and opened the gift shop to help pay college bills for my Dad's much younger sister. Then Granddaddy, who was never took a sick day, got a form of cancer and scleraderma. I know mom will correct me if that is not right?
Today marks 30 years since he passed away. Since I was eight when he passed away, it definitely seems like 30 years since he died. Not sure if it seems that long ago to Granny, but being "alone" that long, I would have to think it seems like that long? I remember when he died. Mom and Dad wanted him comfortable and happy and he was in our house that Thanksgiving and Christmas and passed away in the guest room. I'm glad they did that. It didn't scare me, even as a timid kid, those last weeks with Granddaddy were sweet memories that I think all of us kids cherish.
If you knew Haynes Caines, you would have liked him. He was a good man. A fun story teller. An incredible Granddaddy! But, most importantly, a godly man.
And, I can't wait for my own family to meet him one day.