Often I get asked by people, both from here and outsiders, why I moved back to St. Louis. The answer is always easy because I'm as sure of it now as I was a year ago when looking at my options: family. I don't find my response cheesy, and it's certainly not disingenuous. Something about it though still leave many thinking there had to be more to it. That's really all it was, simple as it may be. I was never desperate to move back, but I certainly sent out some prayers about it. Partly for guidance, and partly because I didn't want to miss out on time. Especially in the case of my Grandpa, who himself was a person of far greater faith than I can be credited. I figured if it was truly to be that I move back then those high above would make certain of it for him. Sure enough I did.
Two weeks ago my Grandpa passed away after leading a life that was both loving and full. An accomplishment that I think we all hope for. Of course when life passes we always think more could have been done on our part in some way or another. I am able to take comfort in the fact that I had more time with him during his final months than I would have otherwise.
My "Papa" was the type of person who always taught so much more through his everyday attitude of pure kindness than any words could. His deep love for family profundly touching me more than anything. The very institution that brought me back here. Institutions, by the way, are what keep places sustainable. That's not so cheesy as it is practical. So what if we all lived in a more genuine regard like my Grandpa? We would wind up doing a world of practical good.