• Danny

The rare and elusive Serious Post...

I won't do this much, but this one was popular on my old blog. There is a Quiet Place.

It’s a farmhouse that sits on a ridge. In it lives an old man, alone.

The house rests on the same spot that the original farmhouse stood, more than a hundred years ago. The old man may not remember that now.

The sun sinks down each night, lighting up the ridges and valleys beneath the house in a silent blanket of red-orange. Deer move through the field grass, into the shadows under the trees.

The John Deere tractor used to chug away through summer’s swelter while insects buzzed in the hay, but now the tractor sits quietly in the scale house. Closed up. Untouched.

The old man doesn’t use it anymore. Sometimes he forgets that he used it at all.

He sits in the house. The century-old regulator clock marks the seconds. Or at least it did. He has forgotten to wind it. I will need to wind it next time I’m there.

You see, he is my grandfather.

He and my grandmother used to work the farm together, gathering eggs, tilling the garden. Sheep used to bleat in the far barn, and cattle in the close barn, but both barns have long since given up their fight with the elements. Grass has grown back over the knolls on which they stood. Now not even a scar on the soil remains to mark their long lives.

The old man used to work at Union Carbide during the day, and mow the fields in the evenings. My Grandmother taught school, and cooked lavish meals for my Grandfather and anyone else who stopped by. She kept the house beautiful and neat, filled with the warmth of her personality. She crocheted, worked needlepoint, and painted more things than I can count. She filled that farmhouse, and the old man was content to let her fill it, because he thought there was no better person to do it.

I agree.

You see, he is my grandfather.

I visited him tonight. He has not yet forgotten who I am, but I know the time is coming.

I’ve known him all my life, and every moment I’ve been alive, I’ve known that he loves me, no matter what comes. I ate so many meals at his and my Grandmother’s table. I opened so many Christmas presents from them, and I always knew that—no matter what—they would love me.

Now my Grandmother is gone. Nearly eight years. It’s hard to believe it, because she still fills the house around the old man who is, and always will be, my Grandfather.

Even when I was at my worst, I knew I had only to drive to the farmhouse, and I would be welcomed and loved.

That time is drawing to a close now, and I’m not sure how to deal with it.

Because you see, on the inside, I’m still their little grandson, needing a hug. And you see, he is still my grandfather.

Many, many people have been forgotten by their loved ones. I will not be the first.

I’m not ready for it. I know that no one ever is.

So when that day comes, and I look into my Grandfather’s eye, and instead of love, I see that he does not know me, I will smile and introduce myself. Tell him who I am. It will be hard.

He may forget who I am and what he has done for me. He may forget who he is. But I won’t.

You see, he is my grandfather.

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