Grandfather Time

I hold the sun between my index finger and my thumb as it rises above the tree, below which my grandfather lies buried.
He is dead. He is gone.
He is flesh and hair and bone.
Once the groundskeeper who guarded my world as I grew,
He is now nutrients for the soil which nurtures the roots of the tree that he will not see grow.

The sun, playing its part, ushers the coming of a new day. 
I tighten my grip.
I do my best to hold it in place, to stay the memory of my grandfather longer.
For a moment, I succeed. 
I flash back to elementary school mornings sitting on his lap, eating his grapefruit as he read the newspaper to me.
I smile, my grip loosens, and the sun slips from my grasp.

The sun urges the day forward; I beg for it to wait.
It doesn’t and I watch it slowly slip from my grasp. 
All I want is for it to stop, turn around, and trace back to the time where I could still look up to him. 
To the time where I could look up from his lap or look up to the stands. 
To his steady countenance that would reassuringly look down upon me.

But that time has passed; the sun reaches it’s apex in the sky.
Sweat beads across my brow, my eyes begin to squint and the burden of his death sets in.
My eyes trace the landscape of gravestones to the horizon.
I let my hand slowly come to rest at my side and stand there.
The sun washes over me.
I feel warm, alive. Breathing, thinking, feeling. Alive.
Unmistakably alive.

The sun hangs low in the afternoon sky.
The clouds drift along, tired.
Surrounded by family, friends there is the beleaguered, but welcome presence of unconditional love and joy.
I submit.

I hold the sun between my index finger and thumb as it sets behind the tree below which my grandfather lies buried.
He is dead. He is gone. 
He is flesh and hair and bone. 
Once the groundskeeper who guarded my world as I grew, he is now nutrients for the soil which nurtures the roots of the tree that he will not see grow.