Thursday, March 25, 2004

It was maybe three months before my grandfather died. He'd been showing signs of Alzheimers since I was a freshman in college, and although we didn't know it at the time, a brain tumor was wedging itself between him and the world, furthering the distance between his inner life and the one we could see.

I'd gone up to visit with my dad. We lived a good eight hour flight away - far enough that we didn't really visit as often as we ought - and I'd been meaning to visit my dad's parents for a good year or so before we finally made it out. I was scared, flying out, that they'd be horribly old - that I wouldn't recognize them. But when we finally got there, they seemed just the same - maybe a little older. And while grandpa was definitely a little off, he seemed at times almost normal. He knew right off who I was, and joked that soon I'd be taller than my dad, just like my dad now seemed taller than him - something I'd never noticed before.

That night I woke up to my grandfather in my room. He walked around, moving one thing and another, finally leaving a northwest coast stylemask on my bedside table.

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