You Were My Grandpa

I didn't know my grandpa as well as I would have liked, but I knew him well enough. He passed away two weeks ago and so I wrote him this silly/sad poem and then read it out loud at private ceremony I held with myself in my apartment. A private reception and buffet followed.

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You were my Grandpa
For better, or worse
And as much as you hurt me
Losing you, still hurts.

I've thought about it a lot
What your life was worth
And the ninety-three years
You spent on this earth

You began as a son,
And also a brother.
What did you mean to your siblings
And your father and mother?

I never knew them,
And I wish I knew more
But you were sixty-four when I met you
On the day I was born

And I will always remember
All the good times that we had
When I was your granddaughter
And you, my granddad

How you'd always come early
To pick me up from school
You'd tell my class riddles
And I felt super cool.

How you took me to piano
and dance and T-ball,
And you'd film my recitals
Because, you came to them ALL

You supported me for years
In all that I'd do
And I'm so grateful, and happy
And thankful for you 

But I also can not 
And will not, let go
Of the secrets, and pain
And things I'll never know.

Like, where did you go,
When you left all those years?
Would you tell me if I asked you
If you were still here?

But you're not, it's just us now
All the grandchildren and greats
And your daughters, and wife
Filled with both love and hate.

I'm not speaking for everyone,
I only know what I've seen
You're a mystery grandpa.
That's what you are to me.

Because I am happy and angry
And grateful and sad
That I was your granddaughter
And you, my granddad.

But you will always be that to me
For better, or worse
You're my Grandpa and I love you
And I'll miss you, you jerk.


Milton Owen Wesley Rudell 1920-2014

Milton Owen Wesley Rudell 1920-2014