For Grandpa: July 7, 1929 – June 25, 1999

Seven years ago today you left forever.

Oh, how I wish I could remember better.

But my memory is flighty

And all I have is pictures.

You look so much like your son,

And how small I was in your lap.

I can remember that Halloween, your last—

What a cute hippy you were.

I remember how frail you were, those final years;

I was scared to hug you,

Terrified I'd hurt you—

It felt like you'd break.

But I listen to the stories;

You sound like such a fun man.

And now you're gone,

Leaving only a legacy in your children

And the grandchildren who can remember more.

I remember that I was there that night,

Playing in the kid's room.

I remember that you left quietly

And I ran out of the house,

Stood in your front yard,

And tears poured down my cheeks.

I remember how I cried.

Seven years ago today you left forever.

That was the most I've ever wept.

The pictures tell a story,

And the few memories I possess.

The words of your children and their spouses

And my cousins who recall

Paint a picture I wish I could remember.

I wish I could remember more.

I wish I had known you in your better years,

Before all the illnesses and how weak you became.

I wish I could see in my mind's eye the strong man you used to be.

I wish I had a memory of a strong hug, like my daddy gives;

Instead, I see you in your chair, so small—

I wish I knew you better.

Seven years ago today the chance was stolen from me

As you finally went home.

You left forever and I wish—

I wish I could remember the days before.