I do, however, have one gift that he left me, one moment that has stayed with me despite the fact that he didn't intend for me to take it this way.
My Grandfather's faith
was like a thick, woolly cocoon around him.
It comforted and sheltered him,
plugging his ears and eyes
to other people's pain.
One time, in a fit of frustration
at some foolish old woman's worry,
he told the woman that
every time she saw a cardinal
it meant that everything would be ok.
And it worked.
He told me the story to ridicule her,
but for the many hours he sat
lecturing me about faith,
every time I see a flutter of
bright red wings,
I smile, relieved.