Today has been a hard day.
I was off kilter before I even woke up. I left home without my glasses. I cried on BART over a most unbelievably sad podcast. The first email of the day was one of those passive aggressive critical emails that makes you want to upend your desk and walk out for good.
And then I saw the date: 05/05/15. It all made sense.
It’s been exactly ten years since we lost our Grandpa. Pa. And whilst daily life has marched on and the sadness abated to a dull hum, it never truly leaves you.
So tonight when I returned home, I pulled out my Kikki.K box filled with all my sentimental things: photos, notes, trinkets. I made a mental note to bring these things out more often, to surround myself with memories and more of my past. They shouldn’t be hidden away like they seem to be right now.
I poured over the photos of a man who was once a giant to me and strong as an ox. Someone who would do absolutely anything for his grandkids.
He showed his love through photos. He documented our lives, and would always develop the photos at a photo shop right near us so he’d be close enough to ‘pop by’ and show us, hot off the press. He’d race over to hold down the fort when one of us broke bones or needed stitches. And blew off his 29th anniversary at Lodge to pick us all up from the Blue Mountains when we were involved in a serious car accident. In a tuxedo.
When I was back in Sydney last year I spent some time converting my old cassette tapes to digital files. It was on one of these tapes that I had a chance to hear his voice again. I hadn’t heard it since 05/05/05 and it was overwhelming and marvelous and sad and joyful all at the same time. I sometimes just play it just to be transported back to the old house in Johnstone Street, laying down on that itchy yellow three-seater, listening to records with my grandparents.
A decade may have passed but it doesn’t mean I, or we, have forgotten him. I am too cynical to hear those platitudes other people sprout like ‘forever in our hearts’ without rolling my eyes. But sometimes, they’re just necessary because the sentiment is true.
He is still on my mind and in my heart.