I was thinking about my grandpa today. He was a quiet man without a lot to say. Generally he was agreeing with my grandma when he did speak. I have no idea how he lived his life. I don’t know any of his experiences save the ones that I shared with him.

But I know he was a good man. He was a hardworking man who planted cacti around the perimeter of the gates of his houses as a security measure. He owned two houses, one for him and my grandma and one for family members to stay in. And they did. Whoever needed a home found one with help from my grandpa.

He liked his food spicy and discouraged my brother from eating it because of the hot sauce that he’d pour on top. When my one year old brother reached up to his plate and began eating with enthusiasm my grandpa quietly looked at him and then nodded and they shared the rest of that plate. They shared a lot of plates after that with my brother having some kind of sixth sense when my grandpa was having a meal and my grandpa accepting his presence with stoic silence, as was his way.

He hugged me when my grandma died and I saw real pain on his face for the first time in my life.

And when he died when I was 14, I cried so hard and incessantly that my parents had my best friend’s mother drive her over to comfort me.

I cried because I missed him but also because I wasn’t sure he knew that I loved him.

Tell the people you love how you love them. Every day remember to cherish the ones you love and more importantly, let them know. With the world in disarray and always on the go it is tough to remember to love.