This is one of my most-treasured photos and was taken at my grandparents' house in February 1998 after a special dinner that Grandma had made to celebrate her and my two February-born brothers' birthdays. My family was getting ready to leave, but I insisted on a few pictures, and thank God: I love that this moment was captured on film. I was a few months shy of 21 here, and Papa had turned 86 a few months prior. I recently reread something I'd written in my journal years ago in which I mentioned that for awhile after Papa died in 2001, I would sleep holding one of his old shirts. I had forgotten that. I do remember working off and on for years on a poem about him that I began months before he died and never was able to finish to my satisfaction. "You were my first hero, Papa," it began. "...The first man I ever said 'I love you' to." Eleven Februaries later, those are still all the things that first come to mind when I think of my grandfather: We made each other laugh, I was devastated when he died, he was my first hero, and he was the first man to hear my "I love you." And I could not have been any more blessed.