"It all happened so long ago."

Grandfather tells us. He says

he isn't sure he can


But we beg him to tell us, and he

always agrees. He really

does like to tell the


"It was a long, long time ago. The year was

1963." Grandfather begins, and we all lean forward,

eager to hear the familiar words, in Grandfather's old, soft voice.

"I was thirteen years old. There was a new girl at school, a girl with

red hair and green eyes. She was friends with me and all of

my friends, and she loved me.

But I didn't love her then." Grandfathers

eyes are cloudy as he looks into the past, seeing

something we cannot see.

"I turned fourteen. The school year ended. That summer I went

to Switzerland.

The girl and I were friends,

we were by then very close. I went to

her birthday party at

a bowling alley.

And I was struck by

how beautiful she suddenly seemed." He sighs. Go

on, we urge. Go on!

"I loved her from that day on.

I was miserable, because I was sure she didn't care for

me anymore. That's what I thought." Grandfather is

almost crying; his memories

are vivid.

"But she said she still loved me!"

he tells us, and we smile for the fourteen-year-old

boy who is our Grandfather.

"We were so happy." Grandfather falls


What happened? We ask him. We always do.

He always stops here. We ask for more,

but he never tells us.

Today is different. Grandfather

looks at us, but he doesn't see us, and a tear rolls down his wrinkled face.

"It was a dream." he says,

and his brown eyes are


"I never told you." He isn't

speaking to us anymore.

"I'm so sorry I never told you." he


"Your curls and your

bright eyes." We look at each

other and at Grandfather. He is crying and shaking.

"I'm so sorry I never told

you." Grandfather says,

and closes his eyes.


At Grandfathers funeral we told

about his stories.

We told about how he loved to

share his

memories with us.

We saw in the back corner of the room, an old woman

sat alone and cried.

After the funeral she came

up to us.

Did you know our Grandfather? We


"Yes." she said. "I knew him

when he was a teenager."

She had faded

green eyes, and they were full

of tears.

"I knew him very well." she

told us. We

looked at each other in wonder as a tear rolled down her wrinkled cheek.

We asked, did you have

red hair? "Yes."

she said. "I had red hair."

He talked about you, we told her,

and she cried. She cried when we said

that the day he died

he spoke to her.

"What did he say?" she asked. He said

it was a dream, we said. He was sorry,

we told her. Sorry he never

told you.

"I loved him." she said. "And all my life I waited, waited and

hoped." We looked around, and saw

Grandmother wasn't nearby.

He loved you to, we told her quietly, and her eyes grew wide. He

loved you so much. And

he was so, so sorry he never told you.