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Twenty Years, Emerald Tears

Sunday was the twentieth “anniversary” since Granddaddy died. Twenty years. It’s almost twice as long as the time I spent with him. 

But I still miss him. 

I always will. 

He was the better grandfather even before the emotional abuse (and before I started coming to terms with the other abuses) from Dadada. When we didn’t live with Dadada, Granddaddy was still my favorite. He was a genuinely good person and I think the world is a better place because of his goodness.12

So, of course, I will always miss him. 

And I will dread the week between his death and birthday for a long time to come. I worry about Nana because she gets so depressed this week every year. I worry about Aunt Barbara because she hasn’t really been herself3 since he died. I worry about Eric because, even though we never talked about it, he must still miss him.4 And I worry about my mom because she was so close with him and she was there when he died. I think she focused so much on getting the rest of us through his death that she never gave herself the opportunity to grieve properly. I worry because I never know how sad I will feel this week. 

But part of life means living even when you’re sad or remembering those you’ve lost, so that’s what I will do. 


  1. He was a good enough person for a funeral home full of people to brave the threat of an ice storm for his visitation and to fill the chapel for a standing room only funeral. This isn’t just hero-worship. This is me recognizing that he made an indelible mark on the lives of others with his friendship. 

  2. Dadada, on the other hand, was jealous we were going to Guntersville for Granddaddy’s funeral. He was in the hospital with his congestive heart failure, diabetes, & emphysema—and sneaking cigarettes while he was there. 

  3. Or she hasn’t been who she was before his death. 

  4. He had longer with him. 

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Janet Morris

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama. I've got as many college credits as a doctorate candidate, and the GPA of some of them, too. I have a boss by the name of Amy Pond. She's a dachshund. My parents both grew up in Alabama.

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