I was young when my grandfather died. He was a veteran of the second world war. This is what I remember.

Mom was crying, dad was holding her. My aunts and uncles, cousins and grandma, they were all there, but I didn’t want to look around. When grandpa was sick, we visited him a lot in the hospital. I never wanted to go. The smell bothered me. But mom said it was important, so we all went together. When I saw him in the casket, I remember he looked the same as he did in the hospital, only asleep. For a while after this I was afraid of going to sleep.

After the service, we went back to my grandpa’s farm. One of his friends was there, too. He was dressed up like a soldier, with medals all over. He arrived in a limousine, and I remember all of us were amazed by that. We’d never seen a limousine in our small town, just in television shows and movies. So my grandpa’s friend took us for a ride while he told us a story about my grandpa in the war. But I don’t remember the story, just the ride.

I know my grandfather was an incredible man, I just wish I could remember that.