I was thinking last night about my grandfather. I didn't know him real well. There were the trips to see him every other summer. While fun, they didn't allow me to know the man. My grandfather fought in the Korean war. My grandfather ran an auto-repair shop, he also was a new-car salesman. I remember him laughing with me when I was a kid. I remember him teaching me how to catch a catfish and how to kill it, gut it, and cook it. Even though these are grand memories, I still didn't learn enough about him. When I was a kid it never occurred to me that one day he would be gone. Even as I grew older I did not take the time to learn about him as I should have. Now that I know better it is too late, he is gone.
I sit here and I wonder about his life and I know those stories are all gone. This is not to say his life and memories are wasted but they are lost. Lost when he died.
I sat last night and thought about the things I have done and said. I tought about the good/bad times I have known. They are all important to me and I thought about the fact they will all be memories and lessons gone unless I share them. So here we go.
I remember my girlfriend who died when she was 16. Here name was Michelle. We broke up just before she died. I did not know she was sick when we broke up. The distance between us just made it too hard for a kid who was using his mom's car to get around. She had a 69 Mustang in her garage that her Dad was restoring or her to drive. She had a great laugh. She had scars on her back from surgery that I never asked about because they didn't matter to me, and I didn't want to make her feel uncomfortable.
I learned about Michelle's death about a month after she died by reading the newspaper.
I went to visit the site where they buried her. There was no marker yet and I only knew It was the correct place because a lady at the cemetery gave me a slip of paper with a letter and a number, just like they do at the DMV.
I sat for a bit looking at the fresh dirt and asked her why she had not told me she was sick. She didn't answer. I wish I would have taken the time to get to know her better too.
Even after all this time it still bothers me to know she knew she was dying and never told me.
I would love to wrap this up with some witty comment but in this case I just hope you get my point. That would be good enough.