Letter to A Ghost
Dear Granddaddy Russell,
It is hard to believe thirty years has passed since you died. I still remember the last time I saw you, at your house in Weber City. We all came together as we usually did a couple of times a month, with James, Mary Ann, Kim, Karen, you , Granny, Mom. Dad and Kevin. I will never forget my mother crying when we left. Her medical knowledge even then was so good that she knew what was coming.
You were the first grandparent I ever lost and the one I most wish i could catch up with. You would be very proud of me, that I am sure. I graduated with a college degree, found the right girl to marry and have a really good job. Your great-grandchildren, the ones I am responsible for are 17 and 14 now. Isaac would make you feel like a midget! Meredith would smother you in hugs, not just because all her grandfathers are gone now, but just because she is…well, Meredith.
I am sure you know who is no longer here. Although I have no true idea of what things are like in heaven, the best I can imagine is a collecting of family. As you know I am the last of my four. It is better now that I have had a couple of years to accept the change. My wife, Libby, works hard to bridge the gap. You would like her. She is straightforward and loves me no matter what I do, and you remember I had the tendency to “prowl in drawers” as Granny Russell used to put it.
I don’t remember if you were much of a reader, but I do remember magazines in the wood bowl like thing at the side of the couch in the front room where the television was. I still have that. I think you would want to read my writing just because it was mine. That’s just the way you were. Everyone in Clinchport knew who your grandchildren were and how you loved us.
Clinchport is so lonely now. The flood of 1977, the one where you slept in your car just above the rail tressel as you tried your best to conduct your mayoral duties basically wiped the town away. It is such a shame, I loved coming to see you there as a child. Now it is just a few scattered houses and a road sign.
Time goes on, though and with the busyness of my life it would probably be hard to slow down and enjoy time with you if you were still alive. I look forward to catching up to you some day. I will look for the best :loafing” spot and expect to see you and Ray Stone there.
I Love You,