Having a hard to coming to terms with living without a hero. That is what the death of my grandfather means me to. It is the realization that the only example you knew of a man… is gone. Nothing left to pass on or to hand down. If I did not get it already I don’t know if I can at this point. He was a living example of a man. Face that I would often confuse with James Dean when I was a child. I don’t have one memory of him turning a voice against my mother or grandmother, me or my sister my whole life. I never heard him say a racist word. Until he was 65 he never let his facial hair grow. He worked for everything he had. He was a man who loved Jesus but would only tell you that if you came to hear him preach or if you sat down at his table and sought out his help or prayers. He was nothing like the church that has been left behind. He was an example and the only example I had of what a real “man of God” would look like if I wanted to paint a picture of one.
I have long since left my religious upbringing, and have had no trouble doing so unless I was around this man. Seeing how great he was, was somehow a testament that it might not be rubbish. That there is good in having faith. Yet why I pursued a life nothing like that of my grandfathers, never once did I feel alienated like I was not one of his favorite grandchildren!
I am one of many… there are many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Some I don’t even know that well, yet I am willing to bet tonight we all felt like we lost our best friend. Like we had something with this man that was just ours and ours alone. I don’t know how to love like he did. I want to… I hope I am not out of time. To love selflessly and without regret.
I love you for the man you were James Crichton Taylor… I pray I can carry your name well. I know life will go on without you. I am sure the problems of today will not yield just because you are not on this earth anymore. You will be a blip to most and an earthquake to a few. But this world moves forward one less “Great guy”. I feel it. It’s right in front of my face. I love you. Rest in peace. Phoenix James Crichton Taylor