Saturday, September 20, 2014

Dear Grandpa

Grandpa, you were probably wearing a dark blue jean collared shirt and light blue pants with a toothpick between your teeth when you told me you’d take me for a walk one evening to the big high school across the street.

On the way, I said we should race, you said no, and I meant it when I said you weren’t too old. It was warm then, I remember, but the leaves were falling. You made sure I was holding your hand when we crossed the road. That is one thing. Grandpa, I have always loved your hands. You have such strong hands. I loved the way they swallowed mine up when you took and held them. They felt so rough and warm.

Every time, before I’d go, you held my hands in yours. You’d squeeze them tightly, tucking your chin down just slightly, and earnestly look me in the eyes. “I love you.” You’d say. I’ll always recognize the tone of it, husky and deep. “It is so good to see you, come back again.” And in those words I sensed just a hint of a song, like you were singing the psalm of your soul, and the words came through to me so easily.

Dear Grandpa, thank you for holding my hands in yours. I didn’t know what it meant then, but now I swear to God, those strong hands make me want to believe in something, believe that there’s more than chaos and busy cars in this lonely world you’ve left.


In loving memory.