Remembering my Grandpa Roscoe, who passed away 2 weeks ago today

My first memory of my Grandpa Roscoe was when I was about three or four. Like most black people of his generation, his living room furniture was shrink-wrapped in plastic. I didn’t know what that meant. I climbed up onto the couch, and as soon as I stood up, I slipped and fell off. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew it was going to hurt. Just then, a figure rushed in through the door and caught me in one hand. I looked up, and it was my grandfather. He looked so strong, so big, so still. Like a statue.

The statue smiled at me, put me back on the couch, and then in an instant he had disappeared around the corner into the dining room. I peeked around the corner thinking I’d see him, but he was gone. I remember panicking, thinking I’d never see him again. But he’d just gone on ahead to the barbecue outside. When I went out, myself, I saw him and I was happy.

Scroll down to read the rest after the video:

My grandfather lived to be 94 years old. He endured and prevailed over racism with class and dignity. He fought in World War 2 at the Battle of Guadalcanal and many other places. He raised a family. He drove cable cars and then a bus for LA’s Rapid Transit District for over 40 years, and when he retired he turned his attention to creating the semi-annual Bell Family Reunions. He became the family historian. He was our living history. Grandpa Roscoe lived his life exactly how he wanted to, with integrity, humor and perseverance. He was devoted to his church, to his family, to the community, and to helping and setting an example for young people in Sunday School and beyond. Everything I ever did well in life, was in an effort to make my grandfather as proud of me as I was of him. But I always suspected I could never quite measure up to what he wanted in a grandson.

I found out in the mid-90s that I was wrong about that.

My grandfather subscribed to the LA Times because they were running my editorial cartoons, even though he resented the paper dating all the way back to how they covered the 1965 Watts Riots. Years later, he carried around a rolled up copy of the LA Times comics page, to show friends, family and even strangers, what his grandson did. Later in life, I got to know him. When I moved back to LA, I started interviewing him on camera about his life. And to my surprise, over the next few years he became one of my best friends.

My friend gave me the most incredible, indescribable honor there is: he chose me to be with him to the end. Mine was the last face he ever saw, the last voice he ever heard, the last touch he ever felt, in this world.

Several weeks ago, my fiancee and I moved in with my grandfather because he’d had a stroke and didn’t think he should live alone anymore. As we pulled up with the moving truck, my uncle Nathaniel Crawford was leading Grandpa Roscoe out to his car, to take him to Kaiser. He was never the same. He declined rapidly after that. When doctors asked whether we wanted him in the hospital or at home, none of us had to think twice. Grandpa worked hard for his house; he loved it as if it were a member of his family, and there was no way we would allow him to spend his last days surrounded by strangers and tubes, in an unfamiliar place.

I knew that this meant I would be the one to find him, when the day came. And I tried to prepare myself for that.

I had the honor of being his primary caretaker, and together with my fiancee Makeda Rashidi, Uncle Nat, my Aunt Alta Faye Crawford, and my grandfather’s companion Dr. Bennie Reams, we made sure Grandpa was never alone. I cared for him from sunup until I put him to bed, and then I would check on him throughout the night. A few times, I had to choose between staying by his side and going into the other room to draw my cartoons or update this website, and for me it was an easy choice.

He rapidly went from walking around (quickly) with his cane, to using a walker, to needing a wheelchair, and finally to being bedridden for the final two weeks of his life.

I spent priceless hours talking and laughing with him, watching over him, learning from him, sharing stories, sharing TV shows, sharing photos, sharing visits from family and friends, sharing moments helping him do things I never thought I’d enjoy helping ANYONE do… and lastly – when he could no longer speak and was somewhere far away from us all – I would just rest my hand on his chest, sit beside him and share the silence.

I begged him to start eating, told him that when I have a child he’s going to be named after him, and I’m going to want him to help me raise him. At night, every night, I would rest my hand on his forehead and say a prayer over him, then lean over and kiss him on his forehead, and say “Goodnight, Grandpa. I love you. I’ll see you in the morning.” I was strong for him when I was in his presence. But then I’d go into my bedroom, close the door behind me, and sometimes weep like a baby into the arms of my fiancee. One night, I just buried my face in my pillow and cried “I’m not ready!” over and over again. I begged God for just two more years with Grandpa, but not if it meant he’d have to suffer.

The final words Grandpa Roscoe spoke with his voice, before he lost it, came when I was putting him to bed a few weeks ago. He struggled to say it. He said “I love you Darrin.” Then he tried to say “goodnight,” but nothing came out. I never heard his voice again.

At 4:30am on the morning of April 21, I checked on Grandpa Roscoe. His breathing was shallow and punctuated by gasps. Otherwise he was motionless. I realized he was only hanging on for me, now. I laid my head on his chest and listened to his heartbeat. I cradled the top of his head in my right palm and I stroked his right arm with my left hand. I raised my head and whispered into his ear. I thanked him for making me the man I am today, for trusting me, and for letting me care for him. I told him what he’s meant to me all my life, and what he’s meant to the family. I told him again that my child would be named after him, that I would tell him all about him until he was sick of hearing it, and that I would live the rest of my life in a way that would make both Grandpa Roscoe and Little Roscoe proud of me. I told him for the first time it was ok for him to rest. That I would be ok. That we all would be ok. That HE would be ok, and that I would see him again.

Then I did what I had done every night since I moved in: I laid my hand on his head and said a prayer over him. Then I leaned in and kissed him on the forehead, said “Goodnight Grandpa, I love you. I’ll see you in the morning.” I felt him lightly squeeze my hand. I backed away, not taking my eyes off him, watching his stomach rise and fall as he breathed. I turned out the lights. I stood at the doorway and tried to take a picture of him with my mind. Finally I went to bed.

When I checked on him two hours later, my Grandpa was gone.

He gave me the greatest gift one person can give another: he let me be with him as the world began to fade from his eyes. He let me watch him and care for him and hold him as he had one foot in each world — I saw him go far away… and then slowly fight his way back whenever family visited. I knew he was only coming back to check on us, to make sure we were all going to be ok, to give everyone who visited him a last chance to commune with him. And then, as soon as they left, Grandpa would rush back to wherever it was he was going.

I got to see him have his conversation with God and with his loved ones who went before him. I got to see him looking miles away. I got to ask him what he was thinking, see him consider telling me, and see him smile a little bit as if he’d slowly been made aware of a glorious secret. Every time, he would stop himself from telling me the way you stop yourself from speaking when you don’t want to spoil an incredible surprise.

Among all the gifts Grandpa Roscoe gave me in the end, the greatest was this: I no longer have any fear of death, because I know for certain from being with my grandfather – from watching how every time he came back to us he came back with more peace and more excitement about where he was going – I know for certain that there’s something more, after the end of this. Grandpa Roscoe is not gone; he’s just gone on ahead. And I know that when this shrink-wrapped world falls from my eyes like it finally did from Grandpa’s, my grandfather will be there to catch me again.

We laid Grandpa to rest three days ago on a sunny day in Inglewood. I spoke at his funeral, to try and share the gift my grandfather gave me. Every moment is burned into my memory. The first Navy honor guardsman asked if I would receive the flag, then she slipped off her white glove, touched my hand and gave me her condolences. My brother, my cousins and I put on our white gloves, and carried my grandfather’s bronze-colored coffin across the bright green grass and rested it on his grave. I sat with Grandpa Roscoe’s sister and brother beyond the foot of the coffin on the east. My brother and Grandpa’s oldest grandson Eric sat to my right. Everyone else gathered to the south. We stood, and covered our hearts as the second guard slowly played taps. My Uncle George gave a final salute; he’d served in the Navy in WW2, alongside my grandfather and three other brothers who’ve already gone home. The guards removed the flag from grandpa’s coffin, walked toward me, and parted, stretching the red, white and blue cloth until it was perfectly straight. Then they folded it. They stepped over other names in the grass on their way to me. The first guard handed me the flag. She slipped off her glove one last time, and knelt before me. She said quietly, to me alone, that she was authorized to give me the condolences of the President of the United States. As she said this, my eyes watered and I smiled at the same time; because from the beginning of my awareness of Grandpa Roscoe, to the last moments I glimpsed his coffin over the crisp, white-uniformed shoulder of the honor guard, I was never, ever, anything but proud of him.

2013-05-13-grandpa-roscoe

2013-05-14-dance-for-us

2013-05-15-be-your-best

2013-05-16-the-alhena

2013-05-17-the-proud-grandpa

2013-05-18-grandpa-ends


Discussion (79)¬

  1. Julie says:

    Darrin, what a touching tribute to your grandfather. Your video gave us a glimpse into his life and even his struggles. This man had such a beautiful face–his loving smile and gentle eyes were so evident. That you rose to the occasion to be his caregiver and friend is honorable. I know he was proud of you, as we all are. Thank you for sharing this story.

    • Darrin Bell says:

      Thank you Julie. He rarely expressed gratitude in words, but you could see it written in his face. I know he was proud of me, because during his last phone conversation with his sister in Texas, he told her "I'm getting top notch care." From HIM, that meant the world.

  2. chayafradle says:

    God bless Emmett Roscoe Bell, Sr., Darrin and God bless you for being their to help him have permission to let go of this world and move on to the next. If everyone had the love you and he, and his whole family had, the world would be a better place. I wish you could make a movie of his life so everyone could see the goodness and strength he had. RIP, Sir.
    B) ⚐ ⚑

  3. Nan says:

    I read the first paragraph , loved it and knew I'd have to read the rest. I'm tearing up over a man I never knew, but wish I had. What a great man! BIG HUGS to you and Congratulations on the engagement. You know he'll be there with you always.

  4. Rob L. says:

    This is heartbreaking and beautiful. Love and condolences to you and your whole family, Darrin.

  5. Mellaril says:

    He sounds like quite a grandfather and it looks like you have a lot of him in you. I'm sorry for your loss but I'm happy that you had someone like him in your life.

    Best wishes for you and Makeda.

  6. Nicole C says:

    My condolences, Darrin. :(

  7. Sue says:

    Thank you for this gift. Sharing your love for and memories of this wonderful man was deeply touching to me. I'm humbled and inspired by his strength and love. Thank you again. You and your family will be in my prayers in this time of transition and grief.

  8. What a wonderful tribute to your Grandad; I feel your loss.

    My grandfather died at age 65 from a blocked coronary artery blockage that today could have been treated on an out-pati).ent basis (I know, I have five stents in my coronary arteries.

    You are so fortunate to have had your grandfather for as many years as you did. He seems to have been a MAN who I would have loved to know.

    I lived in LA when the riots happened on '65 and used to work at the White Front store in Watts, it was so sad to see what happened but being a member of perhaps the smallest minority in the world (we are 0.02% of the world's population–only 12 million of us) I knew why what happened happened, but while the losses were too much, the outcome got people's attention.

    I hope to see your grandpa someday. Thanks for your tribute.

  9. John says:

    That was lovely. Thank you for writing that.

  10. bcmayes says:

    Thank you.

  11. laser plumb bob says:

    I would say that you were lucky to have the special kind of grandpa you would choose to spend election night 2000 with …… one can see a major source of your own insight & talent … our thoughts are with you & your family & grandpa Roscoe's spirit … thank you for sharing with us ….

  12. Darrin Bell says:

    Thank you everyone, I appreciate it.

  13. Ted Sini says:

    Readers seldom get such an intimate glimpse of the authors of the strips they read. Thank you for sharing this with your readers, especially given your sadness at your grandfather's passing. I know he would have been proud of you and pleased to know how deeply he touched your life.

  14. @oddnoc says:

    Thank you for this beautiful tribute to your grandfather, truly a member of the Greatest Generation. I have never wept so much while reading a blog post. I was profoundly moved.

    Peace be with you.

  15. Austin says:

    Darrin, I am sorry for your loss and applaud the celebrating of his memory. I work for the Cartoonist Group and have enjoyed the celebration of your grandfather through the 5/13 strip series. Thank you for sharing a bit of his story.

  16. Adam says:

    My grandfather was the best man I ever new. I have know men who were internationally important and men who were legendary with in the comunities they were known. and all of them pale in comparison. I feel your pain as I sat the death watch every night till my grandfather passed. Thankfully I was not there when it happened. I don't think I could have held it together if I had had to make the phone calls. My cousins and aunts and uncles all thanked me for being there for so many hours as he passed. But all i think of 9 months later is I will never be as good a man as he was.

  17. Elliott Winslow says:

    <salute>

  18. Jeanne says:

    My condolences on your loss. How blessed you are to have had your grandfather for all these years and to have shared so much with him. Both my grandfathers died before I was born, so I never had that opportunity. My father was my inspiration – a black WWII vet, decorated for bravery during war, but facing racism back home. I am proud of him and your grandfather for imparting their wisdom and helping us both become good people.

  19. Del says:

    I knew from Candorville that you were a shining star.Now I understand part of the reason you are the very special man you are.May God richly bless you for your love and help you to continue on your journey to see those you love in heaven.
    Del (npublici)

  20. John Skicewicz says:

    Thank you so much. We owe so much to the "Greatest Generation", your time was an example of how they are still giving to us and teaching and taking care of us…while we think we are caring them. Thanks Darrin

  21. Doreen says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing your Grandpa and yourself. Peace to you and your family – as you said – he is still with you – and always will be. (Hugs and Squishes as I pass the kleenex)

  22. Steve Decker says:

    Darrin,
    Thank you. Your stirring tribute to your grandfather shows us how we all can connect to someone, when they need it most. And how we can benefit from the connection.
    I've followed your work for some time, and your efforts to highlight activities and social concerns is always welcomed.
    If you ever want to bring your talents to bear on other people who provide care at home to our communities most fragile, you would be welcomed with open arms.

  23. Julie says:

    Lovely tribute. I have WW2 father and know what these precious moments mean. I've always loved your cartoon strip. Thanks for sharing this. Confirms your depth. Perhaps the apples don't fall far from the tree.

  24. Bill says:

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful tribute.

  25. Ruth Gurwitch, MSW says:

    I just got home from a double shift in the ER…your essay made me cry, but also made me smile! Thank you, and your family, for loving your grandfather, respecting him, and honoring him by helping to make his passing peaceful. Remember, we ask for miracles, but sometimes we get a different miracle than we asked for–sometimes the miracle isn't recovery or an extension of life, but a quiet, safe journey home. May his memory be a blessing to you always.

  26. black5rose says:

    You were so lucky to have such a great gentleman for a grandfather. I know you'll miss him but he'll be there watching over you. I never had a grandfather but i did have a great grandfather who was an amazing gentleman he died long ago as I'm pretty darn old but I can remember him like it was yesterday. Your essay on your grandfather took me back and as I never cry I did however spring a leak. It was so beautiful so thank you very much.

  27. Gregg says:

    Thank you for sharing this Darrin. Love, honor, wisdom and strength are powerful lessons to be taught by example. Their teaching, truly the greatest gifts we can receive. I have no doubt that your grandfather will have taught generations to come by his life well lived.

  28. W. P. says:

    Thank you for sharing, Darrin. I just read today's strip and knew I had to know more about Emmet Roscoe Bell, Sr.

  29. demoncat4 says:

    what a touching tribute to a a unique man . sympathy for your loss darrin for the essay brought tears to my eyes over memories of my grandparents and the lessons they taught like your grandfather did you.

  30. Robert carruth says:

    you have given us all a fine gift by sharing memories of your Gramps/

  31. Kirk says:

    Beautifully written tribute, sir, about someone who I wish I had had the opportunity to know. Thank you for sharing your very personal story with us through your words and your art. It's fantastic.

  32. Ben says:

    After reading today's strip, I googled your Grandpa's name. He sounds like an exceptional man. Your tribute to him is one of the most touching things I have ever read, truly from the heart. My eyes are tearing as I write this. I am so sorry for your loss!

    p.S. your strip is the best!

  33. Darrell says:

    Thank you for sharing your Grandpa Roscoe with us, Darrin!
    As a long-time reader in the L.A. Times I saw your strip today, recognized the setting, but stopped short: who is Emmett Roscoe Bell Sr.? A Google found your awesome eulogy here.
    I had the honor to be with my grandfather when he died in 1993 at the same 94 years old, but you expressed so much more. Rereading it to my wife I kept stopping for tears.

  34. H. Benler says:

    Mr. Emmett Roscoe Bell Sr. is emblematic of who we aspire to be as citizens of this nation. We owe him our thanks and gratitude and to his family our condolences.

  35. Didn't see this until I had posted the Comic Strip of the Day.com entry, but already knew it would be an arc worth following. It's a good salute to your talent that I saw quite a bit in the first two strips of what you've conveyed here.

    You're doing the man proud.

  36. Candorfan says:

    Mr. Bell, that was such a beautiful remembrance. No doubt of why he is so proud of you. Your comics are routinely my favorite of the day, ever since I read the title Candorville and thought that might be a good place.

    Thank you for how you’ve contributed to my existence, but now I better give thanks to Mr. Roscoe Bell as it appears he bears no small responsibility as well.

    Thank you.

  37. Jenny Deisler says:

    Beautifully written memorial – what a gift he gave you. Something to think about for our own children when the time comes. Death can be a gift -we, in this country, have a weird phobia with death. Should not be that way, especially with a life well lived, as in your grandfather's case. Thanks for the inspiration.

  38. bee says:

    Thank you, Darrin. You make the old man proud and touch us in our hearts and souls.

  39. Matthews says:

    My mother died 5 years ago today. Reading your beautiful tribute brought back many memories of her final days. Thank you.

    I read your comic daily and don't share too many of your political views. But your tribute to your grandfather proves there's far more uniting us than dividing us. God bless you and your wonderful grandfather

  40. Kent P says:

    My condolences for your loss.

    I read this post as an article in my local Raleigh, NC, newspaper. Having been raised by my grandparents since I was a baby and watching them both pass over the past few years your post expressed a lot of the emotions I felt through that process. I was there, like you, for the passing of one of my grandparents and thought that it happened the way it should – peacefully and with those who love you.

    All my best to you and your family.

  41. Rob S says:

    Hi Darrin,

    I, like Kent read this in the Raleigh newspaper this morning. I'm sure your Grandpa Roscoe is looking down with great pride in how you have remembered his legacy and touched so many with the genuine love you obviously feel for him. He surely was an excellent example of America's "Greatest Generation" and I want to thank him for his service to our country.

    Your heartfelt remembrance gave me a chance to think of my Dad, also a WWII veteran. We lost him almost three years ago, but I think of him every day and you gave me the chance to think of him even more. What a blessing, thank you!

    I wish you and your family the best in this difficult time and look forward to hearing about when you have your son, Roscoe, sometime in the future.

    God speed my friend.

  42. Mary says:

    Dear Mr. Bell: What a beautiful and loving tribute to a beautiful and loving man. I had difficulty reading it through my tears, but I hung on every word. Caregiving, while difficult at times, brings so many wonderful gifts to both the person giving and the person receiving care, as you so eloquently described here. It is truly an honor to be able to share the last moments with someone we love. Thank you so much for sharing those special moments with all of us. May your wonderful memories of your grandfather help ease the pain of his passing — it sounds as though you are already focusing on those, as well as finding peace in the knowledge that you will be with him again. I, too, have witnessed two wonderful people who were in the process of leaving this life speak to those who had gone on before them. I also saw the peace that those conversations brought each of them. It has had the same effect on me — eased my fear of death,and solidified my knowledge that I will once again be with those I love when my time comes. It was an amazing gift for me. Little Roscoe will be a very lucky child, with you as a father, and with all that he will hear and learn about his great grandpa. Roscoe. Many blessings and many happy years to you and your fiance.

  43. Hank D. says:

    I read Candorville everyday and I instinctively knew that there was something special about this new character on the train to the afterlife. So I Googled Emmett Roscoe Bell,……….and it brought me here. I'm having trouble seeing the screen now, beause the tears are running. So many memories are flooding my head at this time, of my Grandfathers and my father (another WWII Vet of the South Pacific). Thank you Darrin for sharing this beautiful piece.

  44. Jon says:

    A loving tribute worthy of Emmett Roscoe Bell. Thank you for sharing him with us. And he may be very proud of his grandson.

  45. Kristin Luker says:

    My condolences on your loss, and gratitude to you for sharing with us the life of this ordinary, extraordinary man.

  46. Michelle says:

    I just laid out the week's newspapers on my dining room table so that I could read the whole story of Emmett Roscoe Bell Sr at once. I have been touched all week as I read the story and in the rush of everyday only realized today that you were speaking of your own grandfather. I have never been to your website before, but I had to learn more about you and your grandfather. I did not expect but am not surprised to read such a wonderful tribute! Thank you for sharing this story, thank you for being there for your grandfather and for learning from him. And finally, thanks for the daily strip – I always enjoy it!!

  47. Roger says:

    Dear Mr. Bell,

    I can see that I’m joined by many others in expressing my gratitude to you. A beautiful grandfather, a beautiful grandson. Brought back memories. I’d say more, but, again like others here, I’m having difficulty seeing.

  48. Jane says:

    Thank you so much for this tribute to your father and, especially, for being there with him as he passed to the next life. After seeing the video and the photos, I was struck by how well you created the essence of your grandfather in your cartoons. His eyes, especially, showed us what kind of a man he was–both in your cartoons and in the photos and video. You nailed it. Thank you.

  49. Kathy says:

    After reading the cartoons this morning, I knew there would be a story there, but never expected to find such a beautiful and touching tribute to your grandfather. It brought a lot of personal memories for me, too. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  50. Nelson A. says:

    Darrin , I've been reading "Candorville" for a long time ; thanks so much for your last series about your Grandfather ; very touching ; I know he'll always be in your heart ; thanks for sharing .

    p.s. : my Italian grandparents did the same "plastic wrap" w/ their furniture , too .

  51. Claudia says:

    I enjoyed this story all week, but the Friday and Saturday strips brought me to tears. It's a blot on our nation's history that black veterans have had to endure racism on top of the pressures of war, yet the ones like your grandfather conducted themselves with so much more courage and grace than the white soldiers who tormented them. I hope your grandfather knew that aside from the assorted idiots, Americans recognize and appreciate his service. And weren't you lucky to be able to spend so much time with him! Your tribute is beautiful and I've no doubt he was as proud of you as you are of him, and rightly so.

  52. Anne says:

    Absolutely wonderful tribute to your Grandfather. Your 5/18 panel made me smile and cry, that's skill and your Grandfather would be so proud!

  53. Beth Elliott says:

    I’m sorry for your loss. Thank you so much for sharing your tribute to your Grandpa Roscoe with the world. I read the last strip this morning (5/18), and it brought a tear to my eye. My father was a WWII Navy vet also, 9 days older than your Grandpa Roscoe, and man I just loved the panel in which Grandpa Roscoe drops the cane and is a young man in his Navy blues again. God bless him, and God bless you and your family.

  54. CDR R.L. Herschkowitz, USN (Ret) says:

    Dear Darrin, as we say in Jewish religion Baruch Dayan Emet. “Blessed is the True Judge”. I cried for the first time reading today’s cartoon. I offer my sincere condolenses and a military salute to a proud veteran. It’s only today that I understodd who Grandpa Roscoe really was.
    I will say Kaddish for him. You were lucky to be his grand son
    Bob

  55. Phil Tuton says:

    I was deeply touched by your relation with your grandfather. I think you honored a good man who lived a good and honorable life. I believe you will follow in his footsteps. Thank you for sharing with us.
    My deepest condolences to you and your family. Phil Tuton

  56. Joe Hayward says:

    I toured the USS Iowa just before it was moved. It brouht home to me just what Men like your Grandfather did and sacraficed for us. I wish I could have been there to than him for that, for the role model was fro you (as you will be for your son and many others). I wish I coud apologise to him for the (stuff) he had to deal with when he got home. We owed him much much more. The love between you just pours from your writing and video. It reminds me of my finall days with my wife. It has taken a long time to write this. I keep needing more tissues.My heart aches for you. Thank you for letting us glimpse through a window while you honor him. We need more of him. Like you, for example. Your son will be a luck kid.
    I was going to send you a wise-acre note about having picked up this good looking young sailor at the station who kept talkig about having to go back and kick some young man's backside if he didn't stay squarted away. I don't think he needs to worry.
    Peace be with him. And you.

  57. Randall Bard says:

    My grandfather was a WWI vet and My father was a WWII vet. Your strip about your grandfather brought me to tears. I hope they can meet up on the other side and have a nice chat together about the wonderful lives they had during their time on earth. My condolences for your loss. I'm sure they will have some great tales to tell each other about their grandchildren. . .

  58. Jim Robinson says:

    Dear Mr. Bell,
    Thank you for sharing. Thank you.

    Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.

    Jim

  59. Cathy says:

    great article. what a wonderful grandfather. he was my dad's generation. thanks for sharing this

  60. Cindy says:

    We are all honored that you have shared with us your tribute to your Grandfather. I am happy for you that his life and death has been such a gift to you, and that you will keep him with you forever.

  61. Louise says:

    I really liked your story about your grandfather. It was very touching. He looks like he was a very good man. Please keep your strip going.

  62. Guest says:

    Dear Darrin,
    Your strips about the passing of your grandfather were so moving–every morning they brought tears to my eyes. I'm glad to find this blog and have a chance to learn more about his life and the way he impacted yours. Thank you for sharing your family story. Your devoted fan,
    Michele

  63. Dan says:

    Darrin, what a BEAUTIFUL story I just read in the Raleigh, NC 'News and Observer' – "Good Night, Grandpa, I Love You"! You are so fortunate to have known such a man – I never got to know my two grandfahers who passed before I was born. Keep up the good work!!

  64. Charles in Seattle says:

    I too want to thank you for the wonderful, touching Candorville sequence about the passing of your grandfather, who sounds like someone I would have very much enjoyed knowing. I read your comic every day and always enjoy it, but your grandfather's story was truly special and heartwarming. Thank you.

  65. Jaime Frontero says:

    I am sixty-two years old, and I have read comics/comix/webcomix for all of my life. I think this series on your grandfather, and the accompanying essay, was probably the most beautiful of any of them I’ve ever read. Thank you.

  66. Steve Lewis says:

    I know this was posted a while ago, but I just saw it today after reading the recent comics.

    I'm sorry for your loss and grateful for your grandfather. He sounds like an incredible man, and this is a beautiful tribute. All the best to you, Darrin.

  67. donna says:

    I have been following you comics for awhile, so I had to Google Emmett Roscoe Bell…I read your tribute. How fortunate you were to have such a grandpa in your life! And how fortunate he was to have you as a grandson!

  68. MsWormwood says:

    You know he will always be with you, don't you?

  69. Qitkat says:

    This is so very beautiful and intense and true. It reminds me of the final journey of my mom, and my time as her final caregiver. Thank you for sharing from the bottom of my heart. Tears falling for you and your beloved grandpa and your loss, and mine, and all those whom this has touched so personally.

  70. Kizi 2 says:

    remember those who have given us life is never to be forgotten, I totally agree with you

  71. Tom Falco says:

    Very sweet. I'm sorry for your loss.

  72. Thank you for these. There is more to say, but I cannot get the words out.

    You were lucky to have him. It seems there is almost no one to whom one can look up, these days.

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