Updated: Apr 17, 2018
This is my grandfather. I do not know him well.
He shares his name with my father, and he has been both a strong and compassionate man. Moreover to that, I know that he has seen more struggle and hardship than any of us could even begin to imagine.
I was graced with the opportunity to meet him again for the first time in 20 years, and I had so many questions to ask that I instead said: "it's so good to see you."
A short few days later I had to say goodbye to him... I've missed him every day since. Now this is not a tribute to him for his service in the war, but a tribute to him as a man.
I reached through the window and clasped your hand between mine. I looked you straight in the soul and thought of all the things I wanted to say but only felt. A tear formed in my eye at the same time as yours, and we said goodbye, knowing it was the last time. I felt an eternity of weight in a single moment of touch and silence.
And I want to tell you things that my heart feels but my mouth doesn't know how to say. I want to tell you how sorry I am that I haven't been here. How hard it is not to resent my parents for taking their lives so far away from our family. Feeling robbed of the joy and fulfilment of giving and receiving love of the people I should know so much about.
As the train swept me away I wept for you, the distance only growing the amount of remorse in my heart. I love you so much Poppy. I wish you ease in each day to come.
And more are more often I become aware - each moment that I live, I take every one straight to my heart. And as much pain or ridiculous joy as this causes me... I won't change. I won't rush through each thought that enters my head or each spear that's shot at my soft heart. I take it apart and decide what it all means for my growth.
So yea, I'm gonna laugh at that fart, say what I mean, and cry when I love you. I'll tell you that you've hurt me and thank you when I don't need to.
I'm in control of today. My today. I can't change what I haven't lived, and I can't expect what may not happen. And maybe, if I'm lucky... I can help someone else along the way.