I returned last night from visiting my grandfather. His health had turned poor during the previous month. When I saw him, I knew it was going to be for the last time, so I said my goodbye and kissed him on the forehead. He wondered if I was still going to send him one of my books. I assured him I would.
My Dad just phoned to tell me his father passed away this morning. I'm sorry I didn't get you that book, grandpa.
My grandfather was as hardworking a man as you could ever hope to meet. He was a farmer, which meant his whole life was effort. But it was also a life filled with the pride and satisfaction of answering to no one but himself while providing for his family by working the land.
My grandfather and grandmother's farm is right next to our old house. I enjoyed the times I was able help him out, like the times I drove tractor when it was time to bale hay, or when I helped herd cattle to new pastures, or even the occasions I collected the eggs laid by the hens.
My grandfather was known for his stories and his jokes. He especially enjoyed one-line come-backs with the perfect ironic twist. Even this last weekend when he was feeling so poorly, he managed several good ones :-).
I will miss him.