I haven’t seen or spoken to him since the day of her funeral.
We sat at the table with him and he made us laugh, with his stories and orneriness, just being himself. He was a pillar of strength, though the pain was clear in his eyes, he forced smiles for her sake and I found out that day, after forty-four years, he thinks that I am a pretty girl; and silly as it is, I felt about five years old.
I never was very close to him growing up, but over the last several years we’ve become more so. He amazes me with his wealth of knowledge and common sense, from a lifetime of living, lessons learned, mistakes made; and speaking his mind, shooting it straight, because that’s just who he is, when the wall comes down and he speaks his truth.
His knowledge of the world stems from a lifetime of reading and watching nothing but public television, for they never had cable television, or even a VCR. But pick a topic and he can talk it better than most.
I received a card from him today, a simple holiday greeting, inside at the bottom written in bold, underlined three times was one single word…LOVE and I sat alone, in my corner and cried.
For not only have I been selfishly wrapped in my own world, driving myself crazy inside my own mind, but I didn’t even think to send him a card, or bother to call and wish him Merry Christmas, and ask him how he was; his first one without her in nearly seventy years.
He’s lonely; horribly, terribly miserable and alone. Just as I am, but for very different reasons; but he remembered me and he made the effort, when the only person I’ve thought of for months now, is myself.
This was my wake-up call, my reality check if you will; that elements in my world have got to change, or another year, I simply will not survive.
Thank you, Grandpa, for giving me so much more than a holiday card and underlined three times, your love in bold…
©2011 Jill Terry