My Grandfather’s name was Oscar, but to the rest of the world he was Champ. Well, everyone was Champ to him. It was a
name of admiration, if not hilarity, which lit his face up each day as he sipped his coffee and smoked his Parliaments. He was essentially the patriarch of the neighborhood and each person within his web of relationships would visit the house blessed as to sit around such a kind-hearted man.
On May 6th, my Pop-Pop decided to end his life. No note. No true goodbyes. Just a rifle and away he went, off into something that I can hope can be peaceful. In his will, he stated that he didn’t want a service or ceremony (stupid shit, he would say) he wanted to be cremated. However, he held one wish to never allow his ashes to sprinkled over the ground, because he spent his entire life working in the dirt, and didn’t want to lay there forever.
May 5th, my grandfather sat on the porch, his age haunting his diminishing frame; May 6th we sat with him in the hospital as a gunshot wound left him alive for hours until he passed, and May 7th, I sat in my room confused as the entire world assumed normalcy. There was no transition.
I found myself penning random notes and poems trying to assemble some sort of sense within my own mind. I came to one conclusion: at eighty-four years old, if a man chooses to go to sleep early, let him make his bed. There was no anger, no confusion. I understood.
I’ve decided to leave him something, to leave behind a legacy for him and illustrate his life and death to the world, in order to add some sort of closure to a great man, who’s memory still lingers with us everywhere we go.
I’m writing and editing a collection of poems, essays, and photographs which I will be releasing as Letters from the Garden, and I hope to publish this by March 6th, his birthday.
I’m writing this post so I make sure I hold true to my plans.
Thank you all for reading,