It’s been 10 years since you passed. Actually, a little over ten years. The anniversary was on the 7th, and I’d be lying if I said I’d thought about you that day. I honestly don’t remember if I did, but I’d like to think that if I had, I’d have marked the occassion with a little more attention than this.
That’s not to say I don’t think of you. There’s never a week that passes by, and usually far more frequent, that I think of you, the things you taught me, and I reflect on the struggles you had as a father, as a provider, as a mentor, and as a man. As a boy, I couldn’t help but look up to you and wonder what it was that made you tick, and how much of you would affect me as a grown-up.
Well, I’m that grown-up now. I’m about the age you were when I started wondering what I would be like. And I wonder: would you approve? What would you think of me as a father? As a provider? As a mentor to my kids? As a man?
It’s these moments when I wonder that I feel a profound sadness, because I’ll never know. I’ll never get the chance to ask you. I never really got a chance to say “thanks”. No, I ain’t perfect — far from it. But I’ve found people who accept me for who I am, and my family seems to love me despite my flaws. But maybe that’s good enough?
I hope you don’t mind if I’ve started making you sound a little more legendary with my kids. They’ll never know the real you, so I figure there’s no reason they shouldn’t hear about “Granddad”. I’m sure you wouldn’t mind the embellishment at all. Allen — Alex’s dad — could never fill the hole that I always feel present, but he certainly makes up for the lack of a second grandfather in their lives.
I just wanted you to know that you’re still in my mind, and in my heart.