See You On The Other Side

-Dedicated to my grandfather, Roy Simms, a small token to the world you created for us-

 

Today was a day for you, and you alone. I’ve been waiting for this day, waiting for it because I knew how beautiful it would be and how much you would love it. I wish I could’ve shown you the world I see, the world I have found.

I strayed away from thoughts of you this past week because I didn’t want them to be cheap and meaningless, you are someone who deserves so much more than that, more than a sappy cry and stuttering words.

I think of the time when you were in the hospital in Vancouver, the messaged I received about your condition. I was scared, frightened more than I have ever been in my life, so unsure of the world I lived in.

Expectations of a frail old man on his last breath, struggling to live had haunted my mind when I was about to step through those doors. But there you were, the same as always, the same man I had always known my whole life.

I always marvelled at how you could smile without actually smiling. How is it that you never said much, but always said the right thing? Why did you always manage to make me feel okay about myself?

When I picked you up at the hospital to bring you to the airport and see you off, I asked the airline worker if I could accompany you to your flight and she asked who I was, and you sternly and without hesitation had said, “he’s my grandson” as if that could settle all the matters of the world. And I felt that was more than I could ever deserve.

Now, I think back to the last time I saw you, almost a whole year ago. It was in your house, quiet and undisturbed, the way it had been for years now. I felt a pang in my heart when I remembered the times I spent there and how nothing is the same anymore. But you were there, the same man I had known all along.

I gave you a photograph that I took when I came back home, what I thought home would look like in my heart, and I wanted you to have it – not so that you wouldn’t forget me, but more so that I haven’t forgotten you, that you were there with me. Because that photograph was more than I could ever say to you and we both know that we don’t need to say much.

And so, I’ll look up to the clouds and imagine you sitting there softly, watching, making more funny remarks about us all, the way you’ve always have, something that we all miss dearly, something that now leaves this world lesser than it was.

All that I know now is that we all live in a cathedral that expands more than space and time that you created, something only we can see, an invisible kingdom full of warm light and solitude. You gave us all a place to call home.

I’m sorry I couldn’t make it back to your last moments, I’m sorry I don’t make it back home as often as I should, I’m sorry I’m always going this way and that and never really call. I hope you know how sorry I am and how I’ve never forgotten you, even when it seemed like it.

I’m not a man who believes in heaven too much, even though I’d like to. But, one thing I do believe in is you are never gone, you are always here, I believe that you are up there, apart of every sunset I see, watching, waiting, smiling without actually smiling, just like you always do.

You are always there.

Rest In Peace.

-T

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