I remember he and his wife always said hello to me every Sunday morning. My grandparents have (had?) been going to that church for…gosh, thirty years or so at this point, I think, and my mother grew up there, so everyone who knew her called me by her name. Always. Except him; he would, for some reason, accidentally call me by his own daughter Rachel’s name sometimes, and even though it still wasn’t my name, it was refreshing being called something other than my mother’s name – and he did know I wasn’t his daughter.
I remember when he was still walking. That was years ago. He got Parkinson’s and at first it was just remors and then it got really bad. He’s been confined to a motorized wheelcahir for quite a while now. His wife talked often with my mother about conversion vans and wheelchair brands and hydraulic bed lifts – all the things people in their position need to talk about, but no one understands. She is like my mother, tough and strong and nigh-unbreakable, and pretty spry for 76 years old. I know that I could be as strong as either of them, but I hope that I never have to be.
I will miss him.