|With my Grandad, 1968|
William Rees Polmeer was almost 97 when he died. 97! That's an amazing age for anyone, but for a man, especially impressive. And up until one week ago he still walked the mile or so into town three days a week to do his banking or a little grocery shopping. For the past week he has pretty much been asleep and not in pain, the way I think we would all like to spend our last moments.
Grandad was born in southern Wales, was a World War II veteran, a wood shop teacher, and a strong union supporter. He raised three daughters and saw his six grandchildren reach adulthood and bring his eight great-grandchildren into the world.
I am melancholy, but I also feel like it's okay. He lived a long healthy life and died peacefully. I am sad that I didn't know him better; he lived in Britain and I live in southern California. And now, on the day of his death, my Grandmother, British cousins, my aunts, uncles, mother, and brother are all there. And I am here, 6,000 miles away, in his death as with his life.