by Elliot Hoppins
I had a grandpa.
We were best friends.
Until the paper was ripped.
I loved him so much.
But I held my memory
And the paper was taped.
Although my father's passing indeed feels like a paper that was ripped, Elliot reminds me that memory is the tape that still holds us together, even when the memory is of a disagreement. During Dad's cancer battle, Elliot and I went home for a three week visit. During that time, after playing with his uncle's old Lego sets, Elliot proudly showed the finished creation to my dad, saying "look, Grandpa, I made a race car!" To which my dad responded, "hmm, that looks like a truck." Elliot would not be convinced, and argued back, "no, Grandpa, it's a race car." This argument went on for thirty minutes, until my dad finally relented, teaching Elliot one of the best lessons of life: both people can be right at the same time, depending on perspective.
Elliot says that this argument is the only memory he has of his grandpa, who died several months after that visit. Elliot was only four.
Yet even with that memory of an argument, Elliot still thinks so fondly of his grandpa that he would call him his "best friend." The paper ripping might have a double meaning of an argument and the loss of his grandpa through death.
We have just finished reading Felix Salten's Bambi. If you have never read this book and are prepared to dive into some deep emotion about loss, life and renewal, this is a breathtaking experience. This morning I found myself searching through baby pictures to recover!
What a gift it is to have a family, living or deceased.