“No memory is ever alone; it’s at the end of a trail of memories, a dozen trails that each have their own associations.” — Louis L’Amour
This time of year is hard for me – Thanksgiving season when everyone should be feeling gratitude and togetherness. All I can think about is how much I miss my grandfather.
When I was growing up, my grandfather was a large part of my life. He was my biggest fan and my biggest critic. It is because of him that I went to law school and because of him that I excelled in high school and college. He always encouraged me and supported me … even when my parents were convinced that I was being an idiot.
My grandfather was a regular guitar player for the Louisiana Hayride. He served in the U.S. Army as a mechanic at the Berlin Wall in East Germany. He saw most of the continental United States. He was a church music director, a farmer, an artist, and a family man. He survived skin cancer.
He wasn’t a fan of the holiday season, but it also seemed to me that he was the king of Thanksgiving. He would make sure that we had a goose, turkey, or ham for the family dinner/lunch. He would hold court at the patio table with the children and men until the final food preparations were finished (or sneak into the kitchen for a quick taste of a dish). He may not have carved the meat every year, but he was the patriarchal figure that held our family together.
In the Spring of 2002, my grandfather passed away in the home that he built, in the home where so many of my best memories started. I haven’t stopped missing him since … but I am grateful that he was a part of my life and that he taught me life lessons that will stay with me forever.