It has been three years since my grandpa passed away and it always seems harder at this time of year. He passed in December, but those late fall months were the hardest for us all.

We always talked about our gardens during our visits. In those last few months, it was almost exclusively what we talked about. It was easier to talk about the purple carrots I was growing than to talk about how much we loved and would miss each other in a few short months. Neither of us made any reference to the increased pills on his nightstand, his loss of weight or the hospice nurse who moved in.

He passed away just a few months before I was accepted to grad school and here I am, almost finished now. This picture above is probably from 1980 – I’m the one in the diapers – and it’s been on my studio desk all through grad school, giving me inspiration.

I think it’s hitting me harder this year because we’ll be back home again in Portland and he won’t be there. And he’ll be missing another milestone when Bug comes along into the world this Spring.

I don’t really think there will be a fall when I don’t think about him and I don’t think there will be a carpentry project I’ll do that doesn’t remind me of him (although he was a far more gifted craftsman than I am). I just want to pause before the chaos of moving, finals, and the mayhem of the holidays to remember him. I still miss you Gramps.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson