All Saint's Day
Today would've been my maternal grandfather's 82nd birthday. He died in January after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. We weren't especially close, but I used to spend a couple weeks of my summer down at my grandparents' house in North Carolina when I was growing up, did the occassional holiday, etc.
Grandma and granddaddy took me to Disney World when I was 5 (that's just before Space Mountain was built). I made my grandmother sick on the Dumbo ride by making the car go up and down and up and down--I also wanted to ride in the Nautilus over and over again. On that same trip we went to the Everglades, which absolutely amazed me.
I was stung by bees at their house when I was 6 and very nearly died*. My grandfather used to take me to a gem mine every year, and I found lots of great stones that I still have to this day. We walked in the woods on the mountain where they lived and once found a cool cave with mica all over the walls. He also taught me how to tie knots, which eventually won me a "Champion Rope" trophy in 4-H.
Granddaddy had developed diabetes early last year, and not long after that he complained of pain in his gut. That's when we found out he had terminal cancer. His long illness put a great deal of strain on the family, and I never got a chance to tell him how much he meant to me, or to say goodbye. That makes me very sad.
So, don't take anyone you love for granted and never assume there will always be time to tell them how you feel.
*I somehow forgot to add: a vivid memory of the experience was my grandfather smacking at the bees with his shoe. He'd been pulling weeds in the driveway and had disturbed a beehive.