There was never a person more happy with less reason than my grandpa. He would comment redundantly from the back seat of my car on the grandeur of the buildings we passed by, like they weren’t the same buildings we passed by every time I took him for a ride. If we decided a ride was just too much adventure to attempt, we would sit in his living room as he asked about everyone in the family.
“And what about Josiah,” he would say. “What is he up to?”
“He’s doing well at school and playing the drums.”
“Is that right?” he would ask, excitedly. “Still playing the drums? After all this time? Isn’t that something.” And similar questions were asked and comments made about all the relatives. He was trilled by what I considered normal occurrences. He was elated that people he didn’t know made impressive buildings he never went in. He was delighted that Josiah was still playing the drums
“What a family,” he would say at the end of every summation. “Not a bad one in the bunch. Not a one.” He would sigh and
smile and mentally review each member of the family as I would recall the playground he had built for me when I was a child and the funny songs he always made up. I can hear his voice singing, “Sam, Sam the traveling man, couldn’t stay put like you and I can. He’d go here and he’d go there, I think he tried to get ’bout everywhere. He’d make a friend and put a smile on their face, but they’d say ‘stay,’ and he’d say ‘See ya in another place!'”
And then the man who had grown up during the depression and dropped out of school after eighth grade to support his mother and his siblings after his father left them in poverty would sit in his threadbare recliner and say, “I’m the luckiest man in the world. The very luckiest.”
But, for once, he was wrong. We were the luckiest.
I love you, Grandpa.
See ya in another place.