This past week my family lost its patriarch. He was a figure known, admired, and loved throughout the community. My daughter loved him. My granddaughter played on his lap. Though we’d been introduced and mumbled friendly greetings twice, I didn’t know the man. Regardless of differences, we managed to raise children that fell in love. That speaks to the potential for friendship, and I always thought that one of these days we’d sit down over some bourbon and have a friendly chat. Sadly, that will never happen.
What I feel mostly is the loss of that opportunity. I’ll regret it for the rest of the time I have, certainly. I can hear stories and look at pictures, but neither represents the man I could have engaged at any time. Now I fear the side-long glances from those who may have worked with him or loved him and deserve the sense of camaraderie with a hero. I do not. I do, however, feel protective of my granddaughter and daughter, and the man my daughter married. I know the family will recover and move forward. I so wish my daughter had that extra person to rely on. I wish my granddaughter had a “Pap.” And I wish we would have had a bourbon or two before he left.