I crushed a handful of crackers into my soup, and as I brushed the crumbs from my fingers into the bowl, thoughts of you flooded my mind. I remembered the day we ate chili at a restaurant. You showed me how to crush crackers inside the package and then pop it open to dump the crumbs into my soup. My childhood mind didn’t understand why this was a better idea. You said it would keep my hands from getting messy.
A tsunami of grief pounded my heart while my exterior remained calm as glass. Sixteen years. I still miss you so much.
We had our grand adventures – like the times my parents took us to see you in Florida over Thanksgiving break. You gave me my first trip to Disney World in 6th grade. We had an impromptu overnight stay in Orlando when a tropical storm blew in. Even with that grand trip, my fondest memory isn’t of Disney or Mickey. It’s standing with you on the hotel balcony, watching the storm roll in. You were laid back and calm.
I’ve had a lot of storms roll into my life in the past 16 years. I miss your steady hand and laid-back demeanor.
I miss the rides on the back of your Harley to get ice cream. I miss showing up at your door and asking if your bike needed washed and waxed. I knew you would pay me $20, and I needed the money to cover some event at church. Even if it didn’t really need cleaned, you’d let me do it anyway. You were always willing to let us earn our money through the dignity of work.
Hey, Grandpa. I sure could use twenty bucks.
I miss sitting on the lanai and watching you cook up the fresh mullet you caught net fishing with my dad. I’ve never tasted better fish, and I doubt I ever will. I haven’t eaten mullet since you died.
I miss listening to you talk about our genealogy and thumbing the books on the shelf in your closet. I miss looking at your stamp and coin collections.
I miss rubbing your soft, flat-top military style haircut and how you’d wiggle and sigh like a happy bear getting a good scratch.
Life’s gotten so complicated since you passed. I think you’d get a kick out of facebook. You’d probably have a cell phone and would love face-timing with my kids. Oh, you’d love them so much. Little Miss is a lot like me. I can just see you having discussions for hours about the most random of topics. T-Rex is a hard worker and he loves to help. He loves to fish too. You’d have so much fun together.
And I wrote a book. You always knew I had it in me. I even wrote about you in it and how you taught me not to be afraid of the telephone.
It’s been good to reminisce about you. Your life is a reminder to me that a leaving a legacy isn’t about grand adventures. Rather a legacy consists of simple acts of love, of ordinary events like crumbling crackers into soup, and of just being together and paying attention to each other.
I love you. And I will always miss you.
Who has impacted your life and left a legacy? What are the simple things you treasure and remember about your loved ones?
photo by dewetster on sxc.hu. text by amelia.