A Six-Word Memoir® is the story of your life—some part of it or all of it—told in exactly six words.

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Grandpa's last words remain my inspiration.

by Staraj on October 9, 2012   |  FacebooktwitterTumblr

This backstory references death, but the six words are in the Life section for the following reason:

Sometime overnight on February 23, 1954, as he lay in bed in the small unfinished home he had been building, his body ravaged by the late stages of cancer, my grandfather had an "experience". Exactly what he experienced he left his heirs to try to understand with these words he scrawled upon bare drywall:

"Live the life, live the life, live the life.
If I never, never see you anymore.
Oh, happy day I fixed my choice on thee,
My savior and my God.
On the food that he is giving,
That on which we have been living.
And it's good enough for me."

My father later cut those words out of the bedside wall. A crude hunk of sheetrock, measuring about seven inches square, that became a priceless family treasure – and charge.

I continually ask: Why would a man, who presumably was aware he was dying, commit his final incarnate seconds to issue a celebratory encouragement to his loved ones to "live the life"? Indeed, for apparent emphasis, he wrote that "commandment" first. And he wrote it three times. His experience became his loved ones' epiphany.

My bachelor grandfather was alone when he died. Yet, I continue to wonder: Was he?


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