Shortly after my good friend lost his mother, my Granddad (my mom's father) in Louisiana passed away. It was not unexpected as his health had been deteriorating for a while. Back in 2012, my Grandmom passed away as well. I miss them both greatly. During my childhood, my family and I would frequently go to Louisiana to visit my mom's relatives and my grandparents were always there.
Back in 2015, when I went down to give my talk at Louisiana College, the reality that my grandmother was gone hit me when she not there ready to spoil me rotten with love and her great southern cooking. Her fried chicken was like nothing else and is something I really miss. Now that they are both gone, I fear that visiting Louisiana and not seeing them there will be a hard reality to face. However, I will always have my other relatives who I care deeply about. I also have many memories with them that I will not soon forget.
The day after my Granddad's funeral, we cleaned his possessions out of his assisted living apartment and I found the old domino set that he used to play with. When I was a child, I remember him and the other men playing with that domino set and wanting to learn how to play as well. Then when I was 11, he taught me to play. I kept that set and carried it back to California the next day in my carry on bag. It set now sits on my desk in my bedroom and reminds me of that great memory.
So while I may not see my grandparents anymore when I go visit family down south, I do have plenty of fond memories of them. The memories of my Grandmom cooking fried chicken and Granddad teaching me the game of dominos are ones that I shall always cherish.