He never has problems reliving the moments with the ones he lost. If you ask him about the war, he … He doesn’t look you in the face when he tells the stories, rather, looks through you, at them, and at their faces. “We met on a playground in the city. I asked her for ice cream. She paid for her own, and I thought, hey! This gal’s alright.” The Great Depression was in its maturity, my grandfather a teenager, smiles so brightly, as he falls head over heels all over again for his now departed wife.
Every time he says her name it’s like she’s still here. Every time I see his old eyes, almost blind, well up and remove himself from the now and put him back with her, I see myself long for a love like what he has. He tells me that he’s lived 97 years, because he’s being punished for what he did in the war, and for what he did wrong over the course of his life. I think if that were true, the greatest punishment of all would be losing her. The saying “love hurts” is not intended for couples who break up, but for situations like his, where the woman he slept beside for almost 70 years is taken from him. It’s for the fear of and anticipation of who will die first, and wishing it was always you. I see it in his face – he always wishes it was him.
Life now, is simply to be endured.