I don’t remember the day we moved my grandfather into our home.
I remember watching Jeopardy with him and doing crosswords.
I remember his love for BonBons.
I remember his smile and his laugh; anyone who knew him can’t forget.
I remember asking him questions about how he met my grandmother; she wore a blue velvet dress to prom.
I remember he said he was in a quartet and I asked him to sing me something. He sang Blue Moon.
I remember he cracked walnuts and gave bags of nuts away to everyone: truly a gift from the heart.
I don’t remember the day we had to put him in an elderly care facility.
I remember how it broke my mother’s heart because there was nothing left that my parents could do to take care of him.
I remember how he talked about getting back home, because he never believed he wouldn’t get better, he never gave up: the sign of a man with character.
I remember the phone call I made home when my mother told me he had passed away.
I remember the drive home. It was dangerous and stupid because I could barely see through my tears. I just wanted to be with my family.
I remember the memorial service where my father told his story, and put the image in our minds that he was reunited with his wife, playing golf with his brother and son, and most likely making all the angels laugh.
I hope he looks down at us and is happy for where we are. I miss him and try not to be sad for myself, but happy that he is in a spiritual place of enlightenment and peace. But I am selfish and I wish I could talk to him again. It’s been almost 14 years since he passed and although he lived a full life, into his eighties, I wish I had talked to him more, gleaned more knowledge, laughed at more jokes, been able to grow older with his guidance. I hope he thinks I’m funny. Whenever I come up with something funny from out of nowhere, I think he’s planted it in my head. And I’m grateful.
I remember Donno Claire Bellows (1916-1998): a great husband, father, grandfather, friend, comedian, soldier, man.