On Thursday, I went my grandfather's memorial service. The service was fine, and he was remembered well. However, I was struck by the amount of crying and sobbing I heard around me. He seemed so... missed.
I never really got to know my grandfather well enough to miss him, honestly. He divorced my grandmother while my mother was a teenager, leaving my grandmother with four kids to try to feed, clothe, and support in a time when single mothers had a rougher time than they do today. My mom never really forgave him for that, and resisted his attempts to mend the wounds he left behind. As a result, I never really got to know him. He visited maybe two or three times, and those were only in the past few years. Occasionally I would talk to him on the phone to thank him for a gift he had mailed, or to update him on my progress in school.
I wish I could have heard his story. I wish I had called him to see how he was doing. I wish I hadn't felt a sense of guilt every time I talked to him. He seemed to be so special to so many people, and I just wish I could have seen why.
So here's to you, Grandpa Bush. You deserved far better from me, and I'm truly sorry for that. I hope you rest in peace, and I look forward to the chance to chat with you on the other side.