Today I said goodbye. I said goodbye to the man who called me Reenie, who told me I was “Soooooooo purty,” every time he saw me. He was a tough man; a navy man, a stern father; he didn’t express his feelings well (we have that in common) but to me he was always just Grandpa.
Sunday I said goodbye. I held his hand and kissed his cheek and told him I loved him. And even though he didn’t have the breath to voice it, I knew exactly what he would’ve sounded like when he mouthed, “I love you,” back.
Today I heard the tinny sound of Taps, the words, “On behalf of the President of the United States of America….for his service in the Navy…” as we placed him next to his wife and the daughter we lost too soon, the son and grandson we lost last year.
Sunday I learned that not only did I get my penchant for writing, and photography, and swimming, and my stubbornness from him, but that we shared a favorite cookie: lemon sandwich cookies.
Today I learned that no matter how prepared you think you are, no matter how long and full of a life someone leads, it’s still really fucking hard to say goodbye.
Goodbye Grandpa. I love you.