I’ve been thinking about my grandpa a lot the past couple days. A few nights ago I had a dream that I was shopping for a new flask to give him. Today I got into a conversation at work–I don’t know how it began–about my grandpa. I fell into the conversation and lost track of time and became a little disconnected from the fact that I was telling co-workers some stories I usually save for, well, other times. And I was thinking about how much I miss my grandpa, how much I’ve changed just in the years since he died, how different I am from the Kim I was when I was young and he was alive. Really, it hasn’t been that long since he died. But it feels like a long, long time.
And it feels even longer since I last sat and laughed with him, since he asked me if I wanted to take a little nip of his booze, since I stared blankly while he told me a racist joke or made an otherwise offensive comment.
I am thinking a lot about him tonight and wondering how much I am like him. I know how different we are, but I wonder what of his qualities I have. His wit, yes. But what else? What is there about how I see the world that I got from my grandfather? I don’t know for sure. I spent much more time with him when I was little than in my teens and twenties. By the time he died I barely knew him.
I wish I could sit with you and tell you some stories right now. I’d like to see your reaction to a few things. But, since that can’t happen right now, I’ll share with you something that I wrote when Grandpa was dying. I was living in Oregon and he was three thousand miles away and the cancer was eating away at him and I wrote this: