Let's talk about the things that last, the things that go on long after we have passed.
Letters we've written. Jokes we've told. Gifts we've given.
Let's talk about the things that stay here in the ether, the things that weight a room.
A conversation punctuated by tears. A reunion, longed for and finally achieved. The first hug. A soft kiss on a wrinkled cheek.
Let's talk about the things I hold on to now. The things I will remember him by.
The first time I heard him laugh.
We had the same nose.
He told me that I was smart.
He packed a dozen photo albums in his suitcase and slowly turned the pages of each one as I sat by his side, listened to his stories.
I never saw him wear anything but cowboy boots.
He marveled over my hair, said it was the same color as my mother's.
He sat at our kitchen table two Thanksgiving's ago, eating pecans and reading stories to Alice.
His tender way of talking to me, telling me how glad he was to know me.
His love, his love, his love.
Above all else, it's his love that goes on. I can feel it, here next to my heart. And I can feel it when I tell Alice that she had a very special Grandpa Buddy, that I was blessed to have a whole second family to love me. We were honored to know Buddy and have him in our lives.
Buddy passed away yesterday. We're flying down to be with Matt and his family. It might be a little while before I update here again. Please bear with me. The words are going to come, but right now they are weighted down with grief.
...for the full background, in case you don't know the details, see here. And then search the Adoption Topic for the rest.