Over the past 10 months I have replayed a specific day over and over in my head. The day was specifically November 22, 2011; one of many days I would do anything to go back to. I don’t think I would have ever let go of the big hug I received as I left if I knew what was to come. This day was the second to the last day I spent with Grant. I can vividly remember each moment and conversation of this day as if I’ve watched it over and over on an HD screen before my wide eyes. I remember the brown itchy sweater he was wearing to his grown out hair the morning Mom and I went to hang out with him. The night prior Mom said we would come around 9 and poor Grant waited that entire Friday night thinking we were coming at 9pm. Mom laughed as he called her later that night worried about where she was and she corrected him that we would be coming 9am the next day. We thought the confusion was quite funny.
That morning we arrived just before 9am and Grant just rolled out of bed and had the longest and messiest hair I’d ever seen him with. He rubbed his head with a little smirk and said, “What? You don’t like it??” “Yeah, I should probably get it cut today.” When Grant’s hair got too long it started to curl into a natural wave around his ears and near his forehead. Grant wandered down the hall and quickly took a shower and dressed in an itchy brown sweater. We sat at the table and talked for a while until we knew the barber shops nearby were open. In the meantime Grant offered us some food and coffee; the host that he was. We were certain there was a Fantastic Sam’s close and it turned out we were wrong as I navigated with my newly purchased iPhone. We pulled up to one beauty shop and Grant hopped out to check on the wait, which was longer than expected. We laughed so hard at the manikin outside the shop wearing camo gear and thought how ‘small town’ as we snapped a photo for memory or maybe proof sake. We found this cute little barber shop just off Chestnut Street to give what we hadn’t known to be Grant’s last haircut. The store front had windows and was trimmed in what I think was a cedar wood and had the red, white and blue barber spindling ‘round. The barber was quiet and kind; He wore a slight smile, silver combed hair, a mustache, a plaid shirt and jeans. I can watch Grant’s every gesture… I can envision his chin down, straight face and eyes closed. I can hear the gentle buzz of the clipper and the small talk questions politely back and forth. I can remember Grant telling him to make it nice and short and him seriously teasing that he’d better do a good job, he’s the groom of the wedding my mom and I later had as he winked over at Mom and me. I remember Mom saying she’d pay for it and gave him a twenty-dollar bill for treating her boy well.
After the haircut we went over to the grocery store to bring some food back to eat. I remember standing at the deli deciding what would be a good snack. We opted for a big platter of crackers, cheese and salami and a container of a macaroni pasta salad with nuts and broccoli. I remember Grant looking at all the drinks and was going back and forth from a can of Rockstar to a case of Coke Zero; he undoubtedly chose the case of Coke to bring back to the house. I remember chuckling as Mom thought Grant drank a pop in a matter of record seconds as he said “Oh my gosh, Mom! That was from when we left the house”. We brought back our snacks and picked out our favorite cheese and passed the pasta bowl back and forth sharing every couple bites; as family germs were an unmentioned thought. After we were full I remember Grant tapping his shoulders gesturing for me to scratch his back and rub his shoulders. I did so until my fingers were sore and he relaxed his head and told me I was the best.
What was not too long from then, Mom and I had to take off to our wedding. Grant walked us out to the car and gave us his best hugs. I remember as he hugged mom he saw a bag of cookies in the back seat. I can hear him “Hmmmm… Can I have some of those”. Mom said with confidence, “Of course”. He grabbed one bag and began walking back inside and turned around and smoothly grabbed the other two bags. He smiled and said, “Thanks Mom, Love ya.”