I was a very sick child. We discovered when I was in about second grade my constant state of illness was mostly due to the fact that I was allergic to the world in general. It was not enough to kill me, but it was enough to make me vaguely sick for the majority of my childhood.
Before the discovery of my allergy problems we had a pretty set routine. The doctors office was on speed dial, and after a while my mom phoned in my symptoms and the doctors office called in a prescription to our pharmacy. Rather convenient when you think about it.
The fall was no worse for me getting sick than any other time of year really. November was nothing special other than my brother had a birthday in a week. I was sick. I was always sick. I sat at the bar in the kitchen coloring as my mom got off the phone with the pharmacy saying we would be there shortly to pick up the prescription. She brushed my bangs back from my eyes and rested her hand on my forehead to see how warm I was.
My grandfather volunteered to go pick up the prescription, probably just so he could get out of the house and away from my grandmother as they had been fighting a lot lately. I immediately perked up and turned my big green eyes to my mother and begged her to let me go with him. I was probably thinking he would buy me candy if I got to go, or maybe I just didn't want to be away from him while I felt bad, nut my mother said no without a second thought. I was sick and so I had to stay home.
My brother was not sick though and when he asked if he could go my mother said yes. I was less than pleased. I hated being sick. She did allow me to walk out front as my grandfather and brother were piling into his truck to go. As we stepped out front we were greeted by a gaggle of kids coming into our front yard. Nathan Obree had gathered up the kids from our block and his block for a game of touch football. Nathan lived on the next block and him getting to walk to our street to play was a really big deal so my brother quickly forgot about his desire to go to the store and headed off to the store.
My grandfather kissed my forehead and told me he would be back with my medicine soon and I would feel better in no time. I snuggled up against my mother, who was holding me in her arms, and watched my grandfather drive off.
I never saw him alive again.
On his way home a car came through a stop sign going too fast off a hill and plowed into my grandfathers truck. He died in the helicopter on the way to the hospital.
I was very little at the time. I didn't understand why he would never come home. I didn't understand death, and I didn't understand forever. I found no comfort in the thought that he was in heaven as I did not really understand that either. I just knew he was gone.
I can remember him kissing my forehead before he left, but I can't remember if he said he loved me, and I can't remember if I said it to him. I was little, and I was sick, and I know he knew I loved him, and I know he loved me, but I can't remember if we said it.
As I have gotten older I have made it a point to tell people that I love them whenever I can. Even if I know they know it, I still tell them. You can never say I love you too often when it is the truth. You never know when it is the last time you will see someone, and I believe you should always leave them with the knowledge they are loved.
Always say I love you.