This is my grandfather. Herb Miller is my father’s father, and he was the only grandfather I had for most of my life, as my mom’s dad died when I was only five.
This grandpa died last month. Less than a month after I saw him for the last time, knowing that it was the last time I would ever see him.
He’d been in poor health for a while now, and despite being in my late 30’s, I was still convincing myself that he would not only be fine, but would, in fact, live forever. Needless to say, I’ve been disabused of that notion.
He worked hard all his life. Really hard. He retired, and kept on working. He just couldn’t sit still and do nothing (my father is no different), which made seeing him recently even harder.
He had 5 children: four sons and a daughter. He had 8 grandchildren, and 12 great-grandchildren. He had a beautiful, nearly 70 year marriage with my grandmother, always in the same house that they built together and raised their children in.
He could be a bit rough verbally. He wasn’t mean, really, he just told the truth as he saw it, and if it hurt your feelings, well…oh, well. I prefer a bit more tact, but he was who he was. And he was my grandfather.
And I loved him. I still love him. And I miss him terribly. It doesn’t help that his passing has made me all the more conscious that my grandmother will not live forever, either.
Knowing that I’ve had my grandparents a lot longer than other people had theirs has been both a blessing and a curse right now. I feel lucky to have had them so long, but at the same time I feel selfish, because I was not ready to let him go. I wanted more time, even though I’d already had more time than most. I guess I’m just a greedy person like that.
I know that the pain of this will eventually get better. I won’t always miss him as sharply as I do right now. The tears won’t always be so close. I won’t always need almost a month before I can find the words to talk about him to anyone other than my family or my best friend.
But for now, it still hurts. I still miss him. I still cry. And I still hesitate to write this blog post. But it doesn’t feel right to tell you about anything else before telling you about him.
I love you, Grandpa. And I still miss you.