When I picture you, you’ve got a twinkle in your eye, sitting in your rocking chair, laughing at a joke you’ve just made – the kind of sarcastic joke that takes me a minute to figure out if you’re being serious or not.
When I picture you, you’re in the woods. Trying to tell me the difference between deer poop and bear poop, even though to me – it’s just poop poop. You’re patient, despite my non-stop pleas to go inside and play another hand of Old Maid with Grammie.
It’s not hard to picture you, even though it’s been over 20 years since you’ve been gone. Your laugh is burned into my memory, and your sly smile plays out on my own mother’s face every day. Uncle Jeff calls it a $hit-eating grin.
When I think of you, I hope that you’re proud. Of the incredible strength you instilled in your daughter, my mother. In your son, my Uncle. In your family, in me.
When I picture you, in Heaven, I stop to consider whether or not I really believe in such a place. What that place looks like. And I still don’t know, but I like to think of you joyful, somewhere in this universe, knowing that you are far from forgotten. That you are thought of every day, that your quirky sayings and bad jokes are told all the time.
That your great-grandchildren will know you, from the tales we will spin about you (the size of the fish gets bigger every time, right?).
We love you, Gromp. Happy Birthday, wherever you are!