"Grandpa Smiles is my first oil painting book. I wrote it about my son and my late father. Dad died young (age thirty-seven) after losing his battle with cancer. He didn’t live to see me grow up, get married, and have children. But somehow, my son has a special bond with the grandpa he never met. This simple picture book illustrates how Grandpa smiles; watching over his grandson’s life from birth and every year since."
Update to the above story…
Before my son went to college, he first took a few classes at a tech school. Of all places, we were temporarily (for only one year) living in the same state where my father had lived, and the nearest tech school was the same system that my dad had once taught classes for! The connection to his grandpa continues to amaze us.
The story behind “Superhero” (the page “The Child Leaps”) is shown in the video below. This was my little guy when he was a toddler. Every year since, he wore a Superman costume- in bigger sizes as he grew (the illustration for Grandpa Smiles is inspired by how he played as he was older, tearing around the house and yard).
I can’t remember the day when he finally hung up his cape, and I’m glad I don’t. Growing up happens gradually, otherwise we’d drown in buckets of tears. But, I’ve seen evidence over the years of times when my son rose heroically out of nowhere, as if secretly there’s still an “S” hidden under his jacket.
My son is also the inspiration for many of the stories in the comic “Dramatic Mom“, both the version illustrated by my talented daughter, and the unpublished version drawn by me (featured image for this post is a sample of that). I will share some of the funnies from the “Dramatic Mom” family comic series in a future blog post.