Joe Bell, my fifth and final living grandparent, went to Glory last night.
Joe courted and married my grandmother, Henrietta, after my biological grandfather, Delmas, died. He has been an important part of our family since then. He was a kind and funny man, who grew and cooked the largest, best boiled peanuts I’ve ever eaten.
His health had been rapidly failing over the past few month, so in the end, his passing was a mercy, because his toil here is now finished, and he’s free from suffering, free from pain.
I wrote a short story about him and my Mom a few years back called “The First Year in Fifty,” though I changed their names in the story to protect their identities. While writers are notoriously terrible judges of their own work, I think it’s one of the best things I’ve ever produced in a lifetime of scribbling.
I share it with you today in Joe’s honor and memory at the link below. He was a truly original character, and he will be missed.