To my Grandpa, thank you.

By Alexandra Fyfe, March 15, 2022

Read time: 2 Mins

To my Grandpa, thank you. Image

The last time I was able to come home we spent the day together. We didn’t talk about what we had been doing, what had kept me away on the other side of the country for so long.

On my way into the house, I saw a pile of photo albums. I dragged them into the lounge and sat on the floor and we looked at them. I had never seen them in the house before and I’d never known your life through your eyes.

Your wife was the storyteller, the poetry lover. The strength and heart I looked to. I remember one of the last things she asked me was if I knew what a good man you were. If I liked you. I got the sense then there was more I needed to know.

And then I was gone.

So when I came home I asked you every question, every story. How the people in the photos impacted your life. We laughed and we cried together. You showed me yourself in a way I never got to see growing up. We had both softened with time and grief.

And then I was gone again.

You walked past a house on your way to work every day and you fell in love with the girl in the window. One day she met you at the mailbox. A catholic and a Jew. That day and your love, shaped my father, shaped my parents love and it shaped me.

I never got to come home again. Not yet.

Distance is hard but it makes me wonder.
If I was there, would I have held on to this memory so tight? Would I have told my friends this story at 1 am a few nights before you passed when they asked me what love meant in my family?

I know there is grief waiting for me when I arrive but I also know there is a pile of unopened Christmas presents. The last gifts I’ll receive from you but certainly not the greatest.

To my grandpa, thank you.

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