Sunday morning, as I was rustling awake, my grampa slipped quietly away. Just shy of 95, his life was something rare, simple, and beautiful. Born in a tiny Alaskan fishing village on the Bering sea, he mushed dogs hundreds of miles, mined and trapped, and was a commercial fisherman from the days of open sailboats through till the days of modern powerboats--most of his life. He fell dearly in love with a powerhouse of a lady, and they lived out their days, crafting a home and family, on the shores of Southeast Alaska. He loved deeply and showed it. Every time we parted ways in the past few years, his eyes were dewy with tears, knowing it could be our last embrace. This past May it was. But I got to share the news in person with him and my grandma that they were great grandparents and show him an ultrasound picture of the baby that was growing inside me, his bloodline flowing through me into the future. He so wanted to make it to his 95th birthday and hold my baby, whose birthday is due to be just a few days after his. But I hope that in lieu of that moment, he's sharing that in-between space with my tiny one, the unborn and newly passed on, crossing paths like ships through the ether. He always called me his WeeBit, and I think that little name will find its way to my babe, carrying his loving spirit with it.
I miss you grampa. Thank you for giving me an adventurous and creative spirit, for your unending love, for your stories, and for this family you created. You will never be forgotten.