Saying Goodbye

“I know your touch.”

I was sitting in the convalescent hospital, in a chair across from Grandpa,  holding his hand.

My family filed out meaningfully, and we were at once alone again.

I got up and stood by his bedside.  He couldn’t turn his head without feeling his pain from the sickness that had now overtaken his body.

I told him about my new life in Portland.

“He said.  That’s great.  You’re gonna be the President of Safeway, girl.”

“I’ll come back and visit you.”

Our eyes meet.  Silence.  try not to cry.

“I’ll miss you,” I think I blurt out.

Everyone was publicly cheerful, saying we knew that he’d be up and out of the hospital in no time.

They wanted to make him feel better – and themselves feel better – but I think he hated it.

Patient as always, he took our pronouncements in stride.

“You’ve finally found your life.  Keep it.”

I walked to the front of the bed and kissed him on the head.

“I love you.”   I wanted to say so much more, but this had to suffice.  I think he knew.

“I love you too, girl.”

Then everyone filed in.