No matter how “prepared” you are for a loved one to leave this world… the grief is somehow still surprising. My grandfather, my dad’s dad, was born August 8th, 1919… and passed away this morning, February 22nd, 2017. It’s hard to fathom the amount of change he witnessed in his lifetime. He was an amazing man, whip smart, car expert, who worked full time well into his 90’s at an auto parts store and machine shop, rebuilding engines. His first car was a Ford Model A!

He had a beautiful singing voice… I inherited my musical talent from him & my Tonti, my mom’s mom… who taught me to sing basically as soon as I started talking. 😉 Each time I sing, I hold them both in my heart. My grandpa & grandma Elaine loved big band music and swing dancing… each time I dance, their memory is with me. I’m so very grateful for the legacy of love and joy I’ve inherited from my family.

My father is quite the gifted writer… when I received news of Grandpa’s passing, this poem my dad wrote years ago came to mind. Sad to think there is no one left to tell us the stories behind the “stacks of faded photographs no one else can caption.” Yet, I’m thankful… today’s grief will pass, but the joy will last. <3

OLD MAN                                                                                        ©2009 Robert N. Roman

Watched your world just disappear,
one obit at a time
Friends of yours all gone away,
leaving you behind.
Those who shared your milestones,
no longer can attest
Parents, siblings, aunts and uncles,
all gone to their rest.

Still you stand and carry on,
your song has stayed upbeat.
You kept the love they gave you,
so, in a way, they’ve stayed.
The thought that I think often now,
“I hope I age your way.”

Depression, good times, war and peace,
all seasons you went through
Whatever needed to be done,
you always seemed to do.
Now stacks of faded photographs,
no one else can caption
Names that only you still know,
soon will go unspoken.

Still you stand, though somewhat bent,
your song has stayed upbeat.
You kept the love they shared with you,
so, in a way, they’ve stayed.
The thing I’ve heard so many say,
“We sure respect his way.”

Places where you lived and grew,
all are changed or gone
Your duet partner’s silent now,
time has stopped your song.
The girl you loved sure loved you back,
but left too young, abruptly.
We kids all scattered to the winds,
the kitchen now is lonely.

Still you stand and carry on,
your song has stayed upbeat.
We hold close the love you gave,
so, in a way, we’ve stayed.
You gave to us a precious gift,
teaching us your ways.

If I’m among those standing
when you’re carried to your rest,
I’ll smile for your reunion
with those you loved the best.
And when we talk about you,
there won’t be many tears.
Your strong, steadfast example
will help us meet life’s fears.

We all still have the love you gave,
you’re never far away.
The thing I want you most to know,
Old Man, I love you so.

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