In addition to the usual pens, post-it notes and scratch paper, I keep a photo of Grandpa on my desk.
My grandfather was the youngest son of a coal miner. His only memory of his father was of watching him die from black lung. Grandpa was a straight A student, despite the fact that the language spoken at home (Swedish) was not the language used at school. When Grandpa was 13, his stepfather decided that he was tired of raising another man's children and kicked them all out.
Grandpa never went to high school, but he remained a voracious reader, enthusiastic observer of the world and adored travel whenever possible. From reading his letters, I know that he had a weakness for puns and running jokes, liked the occasional glass of scotch, and enjoyed winning at card games.
I can say, with all sincerity, if no modesty, that even more than cards, Grandpa adored me. Becoming a grandfather was one of the high points of his life. My memories of him are all fun, silly and wonderful.
Yesterday was not a good day for the diss. Not a bad day, you understand, not a time when I wish for vodka shots and legs that would land me a corporate job, but not a good day, either. I toyed with the idea of quitting, thought about it for quite some time, and decided to sleep on it. Quitting, that is...
Then I dreamed about him - he was hugging me, and saying nice things about Ed and Green Book and telling me not to worry.
OK, Pickle Monster, you win.