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Grandpa Newville

Every year,

on my birthday,

I would get a silver dollar,

old pennies,


two dollar bills,

from my grandpa.

This probably happened every year for 17 years.

I always loved it,

and it seemed,

like he loved to give them to me.

He’d sit me down

and explain to me

how old they were

How rare they were

How he collected them

How long he had them for

He was ALWAYS a kind and gentle man to me.

We would swim in his pool in the summer

Play football in his driveway after Thanksgiving dinner

We’d always watch the Star Wars movies with him

His wife (my grandmother)

would cut mine and my brothers hair

every time we would see them.

(always a bowl cut)

He adopted my dad at the age of 16,

after my father got emancipated

from his biological family.

A new family lovenly welcomed him into their house.

My aunts and uncles

were a blend

of his own kids

and the kids he had fostered

and adopted.

I went through most of my childhood without knowing this.

I thought they were all my biological relatives.

They never treated me or my family any different.

He was full of love



He was a peaceful man,

never upset or angry.

He was exactly what you’d want in a Grandpa.

Well he passed last night

and I am here,

wishing that I would’ve been

a better grandson to him.

He deserved it,

but no,

I’ve ignored most of my family as an adult.


Well I am not entirely sure…

He deserved to have a relationship with me

He had earned it

but I was nowhere to be found.

They told me he was sick six months ago

They told me I should reach out to him

They told me he would love to hear from me

I remained


I remained


Too caught up in my own world for anyone else.

What a shitty grandson I was to him.

I never got to tell him

How much

Receiving a silver dollar from him

On my birthday

Meant to me as a child.

What a shitty human I am.

Why is it that we only appreciate people when they’re gone?

Why is it that we only understand how much we care,

when we can no longer express it to them?

Why can’t I express my love for the people in my life while they’re living?

Am I the problem?

Am I broken?

I know it’s meaningless now

I know he can’t hear it

I know this poem will not reach heaven..

but I have to say it,

I am sorry Grandpa Newville.

I love you.

Rest in peace.


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