One of the worst things I can imagine is the carcass of a charred library. Can you imagine if we lived in Bradbury’s world? All the libraries burned, empty husks. All of that history, knowledge, shared connection throughout time wiped away as if never there.
That's how I feel in this world now.
One by one, you topple, the generations before us, gone of a sudden.
We are not ready to carry on without you.
I am not ready to be the one who remembers.
I remember the generation before and the one before that and even the one before that. Four generations, five including the one that comes after me, but I don't remember clearly. I don't know enough.
A kaleidoscope of images flashes through my mind:
Picking strawberries from the patch with Grandma Iva, snuggling on Grandma Bonnie’s lap as she reads Hop on Pop and The Little Red Hen, turning the handle as I make ice cream on the back porch with Grandpa Bruce long before he teaches teenage me to play Bridge, picnicking with Grandma Bessie at the yearly reunion, peeling fresh garden tomatoes at Grandma Juanita’s knee, reeling in big ole catfish from the pond on the family farm with Grandpa Crawford, listening to Dad’s eclectic music while learning everything from vocabulary to tolerance to history from him.
So many memories, so much shared history.
And you, Uncle David, you who could hold me in one of your hands from the day I was born, you knew me, the real me in a way others don't, can't.
And now that you are gone from this world, I stand alone in the ruins of all of that history, knowledge, shared connection and weep.