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Goats, gripes, and grasping for greatness
The letter I'm not sending 
6th-Apr-2012 11:02 am
Have and Hold
Dear Grandpa,

I walked by the post box this morning, and did not stop there to put a letter in it addressed to you. I did not have a four-page, type-written monologue of my previous week's adventures with which to amuse and entertain you. I did not have a long white envelope with a hand-written address across running lopsided across the center, a little bonsai tree postage stamp growing on the right, and a tropical fish return address label swimming in the other corner.

Over the past week, I did not take a hundred photographs from every possible angle in the hopes of finding that precious handful of funny and quirky illustrations of my daily life, with the sole purpose of providing you a window from your golden retirement home into my bright green days. I did not ask the knitting ladies to hold up their knitting for an awkward moment while I tried to focus and control the flash on my dated digital camera. I didn't pull my camera out in the restaurant to capture the cheerful baby coo-ing while we chatted. In the mornings, I didn't drag my camera out with the goat chow in order to catch the baby goat playtime, or the llama ear semiphore, or the deer inspection of the garden.

Last night, I did not go back through my LiveJournal to glean the daily tidbits that I might have forgotten over the week. I didn't revisit the week entry-by-entry, picking this or that moment as a basis for a story to share or a joke to pass along. I didn't look through my recent book reviews to see if any of the book covers would entertain you, or if any of the authors might have life stories of their own to pass along to you. I did not have an e-mail in-box of marked cartoons from which to pull the last punch line, the cutest artwork, or the loveliest momento with which to relate our own family experiences. I did not have tagged e-mails with news of my friends which might interest you either for shared history or simply for the most interesting thing they were doing this week.

Despite what I did not do, you are still on my mind.

I could claim that I did not go into the garden for you, to check on how my potatoes are doing, on whether the fruit trees are setting fruit, on where the berry bushes have spread. I could say that I did not go over to the new pasture just for you, to see if the daffodils are done to the point that we can dig them up and let the goats back in that field. And of course I did not walk down to the creek with you in my mind, or over to the little flood/pond to see if the frogs have come back yet this spring. Nor did I note which tulips are just starting, and which are finishing, and wonder if you knew their names. No, I did not. ... or at least, not more than once...

I walked past the post box this morning, and did not stop... for very long.
6th-Apr-2012 04:12 pm (UTC)
I haven't commented before, but I'm very sorry for your loss, however expected it was.
6th-Apr-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I appreciate it. He was a wonderful man, and I am so incredibly lucky, blessed, fortunate, what-have-you, to have him for so long in my life.

Also, a comment that I tried to send to you early this morning disappeared into the folds of LJ. I hope you are having a better day today, too.
6th-Apr-2012 05:28 pm (UTC)
It's a sweet letter - I'm sorry you won't be able to send it.
6th-Apr-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
Thank you. I'm sure he read it already.
6th-Apr-2012 06:18 pm (UTC)
I found myself doing much the same thing. I saw a gorgeous new rose hybrid yesterday and immediately thought of him. This after having started a letter to him without thinking. At least it is all great memories.
6th-Apr-2012 07:16 pm (UTC)
Absolutely. Fishing, swimming, sailing, gardening, playing cards, climbing trees... These are the things that Grandpas are made of. I hope that Dad can and is doing the same thing for Bean and Bud, and that they have as long and as wonderful a time with him as we had with Grandpa.
6th-Apr-2012 08:01 pm (UTC)
Minus the sailing, so far, they've had much the same fun with Dad that we had with Grandpa. And they've had some additional cool things, like the Academy, that we didn't often do with Grandpa. Plus, the kids had the opportunity to do a lot of those things with Grandpa there watching and occasionally joining in. He didn't climb trees with them, but he was more than willing to watch them climb. I've been listening to their memories for the last two weeks and I am thrilled they have such lovely ones.
6th-Apr-2012 06:34 pm (UTC)
Well said. Now I'm tearing up at my desk.
6th-Apr-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and sorry about that. You really don't need to cry at work on my behalf. I've done enough of that for myself, you see...
6th-Apr-2012 08:18 pm (UTC)
So sorry. Grandpas are wonderful..
9th-Apr-2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
Yes, they are. I have had mine, and my father now is one, and it is an amazing (and positive) force of nurture.
7th-Apr-2012 03:26 am (UTC)
I'm so glad you have these. I still have them for mine. Reading yours has brought back many of mine. Thank you for helping bring it back to the front of my mind just how awesome Grandpa's are.
9th-Apr-2012 12:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you, and you are welcome. Keep the treasures.
7th-Apr-2012 05:07 am (UTC)
You did a wonderful thing, over those years with the camera. And they sound like wonderful memories, too.
9th-Apr-2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
I like to think so.
They are. I had a wonderful grandfather for far longer than anyone had reason to expect. Nine of his great-grandchildren will remember him, too.
7th-Apr-2012 11:56 am (UTC)
9th-Apr-2012 12:53 pm (UTC)
8th-Apr-2012 06:02 pm (UTC)
I was out of town last week, but I wanted to tell you how sorry I am for your loss.
8th-Apr-2012 11:16 pm (UTC)
Thank you. This was sad, but not a tragedy.
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