I stared at him mesmerized. Not because of what he was saying, although it was dire enough I listened, but because of his laugh and good-natured teasing sprinkled among all he said. His facial features, the twinkle in his eyes, and the way his smile curled to one side reminded me of my sweet Papaw. I couldn't help feeling a connection to this structural engineer.
After he delivered bad news about our house, I asked him what he would suggest we do. He gave me his winning smile and wise advice. It felt like grandfather-granddaughter stuff; I struggled not to tear up. He gave a few last words and walked to the door calling good-bye to my kids. I walked him out and thanked him for his time, secretly trying to prolong our conversation.
I wanted to hug him. It was with great restraint that I didn't. He waved as he walked to his truck and I reluctantly went back inside.
My eldest daughter was watching me.
Guiltily, I explained, "He reminded me of--"
"I know," she said, still staring.
"I almost hugged him," I confessed.
She smiled. "Yeah, I know; I could see it on your face." She pulled me to her and hugged me tight.