This is not a gangster. This is my grandfather. Yes, I know that a feller can be a gangster AND a grandfather, but this one wasn’t.
Not A Gangster
He was born on the 4th of July in 1910 and passed away on the 4th of June in 2005. He must have worked all the devilment out when he was young, because he was the sweetest, funniest, kindest, most compassionate person I ever knew.
He used to make up stories to teach me lessons like Look Both Ways Before You Cross The Street. He played Store with me for hours on end. When Mom came out with that old standby, “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about,” he said, “She already has something to cry about, or she wouldn’t be crying.” He shaved off his mustache because I didn’t like it. Animals adored him; he could train any dog, and the biteyest cat would sit in his lap and purr.
He took over the shopping and cooking when my grandmother had a heart attack, and never stopped until he just wasn’t capable. He and I went grocery shopping together and swapped recipes.
He wasn’t perfect. But I’m not going to tell you any of his imperfections, because they were imperfections of youth and he outgrew them.
His last words were probably, “Thank you.” Either that, or a joke.
I would say that I miss him, except I don’t. You can’t miss somebody who’ll always be with you.
A WRITING PROMPT FOR YOU: Write about somebody you’ve lost but haven’t lost. If that’s too close for comfort, write about somebody your main character still holds in their heart.