gramps ii

just the other day on the phone someone asked me how my grandmother is doing. it's hard to believe it has been one year since he passed away. recently i was talking to my grandmother & she looked at me & said, i miss my buddy. it was all i could do to comfort her & in that moment i gulped back tears with a lump in my throat the size of south america. i think about my experiences with him. it has marked me. i miss him so much. when that year mark rolled around i was in chicago. one night i stood alone on the bridge by the river & looked out at the deep blue night for a really long time.

in some ways i haven't really processed entirely that he's not 20 minutes away from me, that i can't go & bring him a sticky bun & ask him to tell me his crazy life stories about his businesses, serving in world war II, his famous bean soup... i'm grateful for the memories.

when i moved to florida 6 years ago it was the first time we'd ever lived close to one another. i'd go over a lot & play cards with him & just talk. we had a special connection. tonight i was looking through pics of him at the end... he looks so handsome & oddly peaceful for a man who spent so most of his life running from so much.

i thought about him more than usual when i was recently in chicago. one late afternoon, i sat outside at a cafe watching people, the air cool, wind swirling all about & i just had this surreal moment of loss as i sat with unfamiliar life teeming around me... it's amazing that moment when you are just a little more free of something or someone... i stood up & walked the streets i didn't know as home back towards my hotel, striding with the confidence of faith even in the questions of my own untidy life. i won't ever forget sitting in the hospital with him, talking & encouraging him in those last days. i hate what happened to him in there, but i'm still grateful for those times.

writing is this great exhale... i know we have to open up, let go & then it is in that place we are filled in new and healing ways.  he showed me that in the end.  it takes courage.

we hold on so tight sometimes, but really i don't think the grace can get in until the broken is let out.