It’s hard to mourn for someone you’ve never met. My grandfather was a great man, or so I’ve been told through stories. My mother was 12 when he passed, it was right before the summer. He was a free spirit who was loving and kind. It is because of him, I mourn. His wife was joyful until his passing he was a part of her, with him gone she turned into a completely different person.
His name was Albert, he saw everything as equal and just wanted everyone to be happy. He loved his family, especially his daughter. He taught her all that he knew. A plan to go camping over the summer ended with a dead promise. The night that he didn’t come back.
My mother likes to talk about him, although she doesn’t remember much. Just the happy little times, those were enough. My mother’s school talked about the accident, it was printed in the town’s paper. When she was ready to speak about it, she wasn’t allowed to. I visit the school and mourn. My mother is the strongest woman I know, and she holds on to his memory tightly.
Nature was his calling, a trait that was passed down through our family tree. Whenever I climb a tree, I can only think of him. The smoke of a campfire causes smoky watery eyes and tears that aren’t mine. I can hold a hatchet and remember the stories, and in those times I feel like I knew him. I like to think that he knows me, his grandchild.
My grandmother likes to forget him, abuse his memory. She only tells what she remembers, memory twisted with age. She had forgotten who he was, going against his views. Abusing the word of Christ, to put hate upon her family.
It is only this year that I ever see a picture of him, after years of visiting his grave. I no longer mourn but celebrate his life. I promise grandpa Albert, I won’t let you fade. As I hike the mountains and climb trees, I'll search for you.