Today as I was driving slowly down a curvy little road near my house, I came upon an old man driving a beat-up old pick-up truck who was passing me going the opposite direction.
I only saw him for a moment, but he looked like my Poppaw (grandfather, if you aren't a Southern person) Cleason. It made me smile.
Poppaw died when my babies were only a few months old. I have one picture of him holding the Girl one. Smiling. When he came into my house to see them they were both in one tiny bouncy seat. I had the one that vibrated. It was vibrating when he came in the room and he nudged my grandmother and said, "Dussy...I think there is something wrong with my eyes". No Poppaw, you aren't having a stroke. It's one of those new-fangled things for baby-type people. You're cool.
I didn't know he would be gone three months later. I think he'd be proud of the way I'm raising Boy and Girl Child. I think he'd be proud of who they are.
One second before I was past the old man and he was gone forever, he waved at me. That made me smile too.
When I was a little girl, I remember people waving. It seemed like everyone did. You passed someone on the road, they waved. You drove by someone sitting on their porch swing, they waved at you. You might know the person but it was just as likely you didn't. It didn't matter. They were just saying hello.
These days? If someone waves at me it's because they want me to fully acknowledge that they are giving me the middle finger. My neighbors, all except one, look at me distrustfully. I've told them repeatedly "I won't steal your crack!" but they don't listen (I'm totally lying about saying that, of course). One neighbor does wave at me, but she's this sad, mentally ill lady who also sometimes takes off her pants and dances in the road (I'm totally NOT lying about that), so I don't think it's quite the same.
I miss those times. I miss those kind people that I didn't even know. I miss my Poppaw Cleason. I miss my Poppaw A.C.
My children miss their Pop too and I thank God every day he's still around. We don't see him enough, but he's alive and he's okay and they still can be a part of his life.
I want that for them. For me too, but especially for them.
(Can you tell I'm feeling lonely? I don't make it obvious or anything)