Love, assholes, and my grandpa

I'm waiting for the phone to ring. It won't be good news when it does.

My 85-year-old grandfather is dying. And I'm 2,500 miles away. We won't make it in time to say good-bye in person. So my sister put the phone to his ear and I told him we love him and that we wish we were there. And then I had my sister kiss him on the top of his head. Without words, he'll know that's from me.

I'm 5'6''. He's 5'0''. And since I've been tall enough to do it, I've always kissed him on the top of his shiny, spotted head. He'd grin and call me a cabrona, which is basically the Spanish equivalent of "asshole". But the thing about Spanish is that any word can be turned into a term of endearment. Gordis and gordita are forms of "chubby" and "fatty" but are tossed around between siblings and parents and their children with smiles, giggles, and love.

Guelo is your typical Mexican male. He doesn't say he loves you. But you hear it in the smile in his voice and the twinkle in his eyes every time he says the word cabrona.

I'll be thinking about that tonight while I wait for the phone to ring.