Friday, Sept. 21, 2012, would have been my grandfather Clayton McKenny’s 88th birthday. Mailing a birthday card was on my to-do list for this week. Instead, I attended his funeral on Wednesday. I talked to him on the phone over Labor Day weekend, and conversation centered around my recent birthday, the miracle of the Baltimore Orioles’ winning season and the fact that he couldn’t wait for the swelling in his throat due to shingles to subside so he could finally get back to eating his favorite chili.
Sometimes this opinion page gets filled with rants against our politicians, and sometimes it gives you, our readers, a glimpse into our lives as people, not just journalists. Today is one of those personal days, because writing is both part of how I live my life and how I grieve a death.
I have a very good friend who refuses to attend funerals. When he loses someone he loves, he chooses to remember them as they were, filled with life, instead of clouding that image with the shadow of death. I understand why he does that. The man I saw in the casket this week didn’t even look like the man I called Granddad, the cheerful grandfather I have known all my life.
For the full column, read the Sept. 22 print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times.