While most of my Twitter and Facebook feeds have been aflutter with remembrances of those lost to HIV and AIDS in honor of World AIDS Day, once again I’ve been hit head on with both happiness and sadness today.
Today would have been my grandpa (Buster)’s 82nd birthday.
During the last birthday he celebrated, he turned 76.
How could 6 birthdays have passed without him blowing out his candles, saying, “Dangnabbit!” as my grandma tried to help him cut the cake, or giddily opening his presents like a small child?
When he passed away in April 2008, we discovered a metal box filled with slides from old family slideshows. They were messily thrown into the box, with absolutely no logic or order, but neatly dated and labeled.
My favorite slide was the one featured above. It read “Bill & Llama” on the top, with “Bill on left” written below the image. Amongst our grief, we found laughter. This slide was the epitome of Buster’s humor.
So, on every December 1st, I don’t think of World AIDS Day or sadness. I think of my grandpa, Buster, and the laughter he brought into my life for 18 years.
I think of llamas.
Happy birthday, Buster. I love you.