This evening as I was rummaging around in my jewelry box I found my great-grandfather's Sheriff's star. He was sheriff of a county in west Texas. He helped chase Bonnie and Clyde through Texas. I was casually relaying that story to my husband when our daughter started asking questions. How do you tell a five year old about a massacre? We just told her that they did some bad things - robbed banks and shot people - and when the police told them to come out of their car they wouldn't so the police had to shoot them. I really hope that she doesn't pursue it, but I know she will.
She asked me if I knew my great-grandfather. I told her that no, he died before I was born. She got to meet her great-grandfather. We called him Great Bigdaddy. He died when she was almost three years old, so she really doesn't remember him too much. That's such a shame because he was amazing. He was the best grandfather a person could have. And I got him. I still tear up most of the time that I think about him because I miss him so much. It wasn't that we were incredibly close or I sought him out to talk to or anything like that. He was so decent and respectable and just such a good, upstanding man that the world felt okay just because he was in it. His voice was my childhood. His scent could take me back to those days at the cabin when all we had to worry about was how much sunscreen we put on and who was driving the boat when we would ski. His presence was calming. I miss him so. I miss him so.