blaze like meteors and be gay

My grandfather on my mother's side passed away yesterday. I found out this morning before work. 

He had a tremendous white beard like a character from Lord of the Rings, sort of like a mountain man. A laughing mountain man. He used to love woodworking, hunting elk... He lived vigorously. And he had an iron handshake. In my very young years I lived in terror of that handshake. 


In my younger memories he seemed always to be laughing, in his rough good-natured voice. But as I got a bit older, I began to sense depths to him. He sometimes seemed to have a nuance of sadness about him. I suppose he saw a lot in his long life. Were I to try to put my impression of him in a word, it might be "tolerant".

He had depths, but I ended up never plumbing them. I've always found it very difficult to speak with family and relatives, even if I really want to. Words don't come, and I just end up with a strong desire to flee. I'm sure they all think I'm a weirdo. 

He was actually my mother's stepfather. He turned out to be a wonderful husband to my grandmother, so my mom really loved him. He was good for his family. The same can't always be said of every husband and father. I think men who are good for their families are to be greatly admired. I feel that especially strongly because I never have been such a one. 

I loved my grandfather, but I never once properly showed it. I only even saw him maybe once every two or three years. You have to express love. Just feeling it isn't enough. If it doesn't come out in word or deed, it's the same as if it wasn't there. I think he was capable of saying things like that, at least (or especially?) in the last times I saw him. 

When I came back to Japan after the last time I saw him, I actually felt like sitting down and writing him a letter. Not that I had anything in particular to say—I just wanted to write one. But (as per my usual pattern) I never did. The words wouldn't come. Anything would have been fine, actually. Even just, "Hey, Grandpa!"


No letter of mine will ever reach him now.