Grandpa died last night. He was a tractor mechanic who met my grandmother at the restaurant where she was waiting tables. She was a divorced mother of four, whose first marriage had burned through most of her patience. She rejected Grandpa’s offers to take her out, until as a last resort he offered her a simple ride home. Grandma never learned to drive, and after that day she never had to.
She was beautiful, he told me at her funeral. And she was.
Grandpa was beautiful too, even as an old man. He had a full head of silver hair, and the build of a man who has spent a lifetime lifting heavy things. When he came in from repair work out back, he would shower, clean his nails, and comb his hair. In a fresh undershirt, he smelled like soap and pomade. He was quiet, interested in electronics, and didn’t like to talk about the war.
Grandpa was stubborn, and loving, and a good husband to Grandma. He was a good papa to my aunts and uncle, and a good grandpa to us kids. We love him, and he deserved it.