My grandma's S/O got lung cancer and passed away that year,too. He was the first grandparent figure I had die. He was kind to me. I still miss him.
Then in January 1988 change started in a major kinda way. Just four months after losing her S/O, Grandma married his cousin. He was a wonderful man. And a week after we returned home from the wedding, my mother went out on a blind date. He was a classmate of one of my mom's friends from church. He was all personality, loved kids… and important to my mother he had a mustache and beard! They hit it off. But I was sworn to secrecy,"Don't say anything to grandma about him." (red flag #1)
He was cool! If my mom and I disagreed, he ALWAYS sided with me. He gave me the coolest gifts. When he moved in to our apartment I got my own TV and VCR!