In Loving Memory

In Loving Memory

Last week I announced my goals and publishing schedule for 2021. This week, I originally planned to break out my latest freebie and ring in a new year of free fiction. But before I do that, I have to get a little bit somber.

Back in November, I received some sad news from my family in the states. My Grandpa Jim (lovingly called Papa by his grandchildren) passed away. We were not as close after I moved away as we were in my youth but, still, this came as a heavy blow. As I commented to one of my good friends when I heard the news, we take for granted that certain people will always be around, waiting to visit with us the next time we return to a place. And given that the US border was closed for most of 2020, I’m entirely uncertain when I’ll be able to visit with that portion of my family again.

Several years ago, while I was in England, my grandmother unexpectedly passed away a few weeks before Christmas. With an ocean between us, and limited time, I ended up being unable to attend her funeral. So it was a huge blow to lose another family member while the border was closed and travel was once again not an available option. I dealt with this in much the same way I dealt with my last bout of long distance mourning, however. The same way I deal with most of my problems and feelings.

I wrote some words. These are the words I wrote to memorialize my Papa, shared here so that the internet will know how wonderful he was.

Next week we will return to more regularly scheduled content. But in the meantime, thank you for allowing me to share this piece of my life with you.
. . .

When we think about changing the world, we always go straight to the big stuff. World peace. Pollution. Starvation. We think it’s impossible for a single person to change the world because we forget that each individual views the world differently. Thus, changing the world for a single person makes a big difference.

My Grandpa Jim – who I called Papa – understood this. It was why he took great care to treat everyone he met with love and respect. He would always ask how you were and stop to listen to the answer. In a world full of hustle, bustle and distraction, we underestimate how much it means to have someone ask after your wellbeing, your family or even just your day.

My Papa showed everyone kindness. Growing up, I thought it was magical how everyone knew him and that every passerby wanted to stop and talk with him. I could tell he was special. And because I was his granddaughter, that made me feel special too. As I grew older, I found solace in his janitorial office, as did many of my friends and peers. His door was always open; his warmth was always waiting.

My Papa made certain people were safe and happy whether it was with a kind word or a helping hand. His efforts were tireless. His hours were always. His laughter was free-flowing and infectious. The words that best describe him are unique and memorable. It was impossible to spend time with him and not have fun.

I have a mountain of memories from the time I spent with my Papa, but holidays stand out. We opened presents at his house every Christmas Eve, ate a big dinner and stayed up late (which is particularly special when you’re a kid). Every year we painted a mountain of Easter eggs. And I have him to thank for my undying love of pickled beets and eggs.

They say no man is ever forgotten so long as we remember him. It would be impossible for me to forget my fantastic Papa, but I hope to also honor those memories by following the example he set. As such, I will try to make every person I meet feel special during our interactions and leave with a smile on their face.

Rest well, Papa. May we one day fill the considerable footprints you left for us to follow.

2 Replies to “In Loving Memory”

  1. This is a beautiful tribute, Megan. My condolences on your loss, but I think you’re right in that Grandpa Jim lives on in the hearts and memories of all the people he touched.

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