“I was maybe 5 or 6, and I woke up in the middle of the night to use the restroom. It was that perfect time where everything was quiet and dark, and it just felt so still. When I walked through the living room, my grandfather was sitting in his chair at the table, drinking and eating buttered saltines. He invited me to sit with him and have a snack, which felt amazing to me since individual time with him was extremely rare.
The room was lit only by the warm glow of the nightlight from the kitchen. I don’t remember if we talked except for when he told me I’d better be back off to bed, but I remember how it felt. I remember his presence. How big his silhouette looked, sitting across from me. How calm and soothing it was just to be there. It’s that kind of memory that just wraps itself around you and envelops you in warmth. It’s one of those moments where everything falls away and nothing else exists. Just dark, quiet, and some buttered crackers.
He died of cancer not long after that, and that’s one of the few memories I have of him.”