My grandfather died last night. The thing about people dying is, it sucks to be us. The dead have it good, assuming they were saved, which he was... but we have to face the fact that we didn't say the things we thought, and it doesn't matter to him anymore, because he's at peace, but it matters to US because we needed to say them.
Pappaw: You have always been a hero to me. You loved me so deeply; and you were so proud of my dad. Those two things have shaped my life.
I think it is inspiring that you never finished 8th grade, and yet, became indispensable at Dupont, doing what only you knew how to do. I loved being at your house as a kid, eating old people food and getting lied to, and then figuring it out in the middle of the night that once again, you had been pulling my leg. I loved going to Luby's on Friday night with you and Mammaw, and listening to you tease Mammaw for forgetting her teeth.
I should have asked you about life. I should have called you and I should have written you and I should have listened. I am the loser for not learning from you. You raised the best father I have ever heard of, and I never told you how much I honored you for that. I'm sorry. I'm sorry now, because, as Daddy would say, the bus has left.
There's a picture of you, holding me, when I was probably less than a year old. I have wide baby-eyes looking at the camera, and you are captivated looking at me. I'm sorry I never really looked back. I loved you too quietly.
So I am filled with regret, and at the same time, I feel a thrill because I know you are with Mammaw, and my dad, and your world is more right than it's been for 10 years. Goodbye, Pappaw. I really, really love you.