I've been thinking a lot about my grandpa Clarence. He died 6 years ago and I never really knew him well. But I always felt we had a secret. He was a wild adventurer. I wish he could have lived to know he passed that on to me.
Tall, lanky, solid. He was a firm man who smelled like a mix of coffee, cigarettes, and the faint open road. A truck driving man, the road was his home, my inheritance. And when you have that in your blood it becomes your responsibility.
As I drive the wild roads to the Grand Canyon, to the corner of the world he called home, I realize the last time I drove here was just after his death. I was taking my Grandma back home to pack their things and move to a new corner of the world, a world of her own. I find myself wishing I had more time with him. I wish I could have sipped a whiskey with him, drank stale coffee, or sat on the porch inhaling his second hand smoke as we shared our stories of the road.
His life must have been rich in his own kind of way, a solace kind of way, and I yearn for it, even if only second hand. But I still feel him with me just like I did then. And I realize it's been 6 years this very day since his death but I've always known he was still around somewhere. I've found him, here, in my cup of black coffee on the open road.