It must be the human condition - to look at the sky and ponder - what am I? Who am I? Why am I?
This is one of those times for me.
This week, my family will come together and collectively celebrate the life of my patrilineal grandfather, Dr. Bill Alexander and hopefully bring some closure for those of us left behind.
When pondering these questions, I often refer back to those individuals who had the greatest formative impact on my personality and being. My grandfather - along-side his tangent offspring, my father - is one of the most seminal people in my creation of self.
A walk around his "smoke house" yields so many clues to the character and personality of a man who I will so miss - that pungent aroma of pipe-smoke still pervasive in every scrap of fabric.
His extensive book collection stands in-situ, as a testament to who he was and what his passions were.
From the oft overdone Clancy novels to the works of Darwin - a host of quotes scribbled almost illegibly on the wall ranging in references from John Wayne to Plato - he was certainly a Renaissance man.
In my youth, I spent a great deal of time at his property on Back to Sodom Road and it is this property that best stands to reflect his passions, desires and beliefs - many of which still live on through my father, brother and I.
He had an almost obsessive desire to attain an IV League education and with five children and another on the way he accomplished this goal thanks to shear fortitude and the undeniable adaptability of my grandmother, Roxanne.
Who would want to spend several years in a Manhattan closet-sized apartment with five kids - stacked in bunk beds?
Although we didn't see eye-to-eye on everything - most of our differences of opinion I would attribute to generational polymorphisms - he was one of the finest conversationalists I have ever met.
We could talk about anything - from the innate human awareness of 'self' to the planned development of North Creek. There were no boundaries or limits - anything to spur thought.
We surely had some epic debates and fits of discourse.
Bill was a hunter, but also a man who would regularly rescue the orphaned fawn or raccoon trying to suckle its dead mother on the side of the road and work diligently to get the milk chemistry just right - as to assure its survival.
He was a man of passion, a man striving to be "well-rounded." And for me, this is his legacy.
Thanks to my grandfather, my foundational core centers around the Renaissance man ideal.
I only hope to someday attain his level of this characteristic. Someone who could be equally comfortable running a chain saw or participating in an ivory tower debate.
An intellect void of pretension, an every-man and a statesman.
These are the values which I will spend my life pursuing. They are direct consequences of my 27 years of interactions with my grandfather.
Bill will certainly be missed, but in each of us who had the opportunity to spend time with him, his legacy lives.
My grandfather directly taught me so many lessons and indirectly even more through beliefs and knowledge carried on by my father.
I hope you the reader can excuse this fit of nepotism, but with the impending event and Father's Day to boot, it seemed appropriate.
I only wish I had told him how important he was in my personality formation before it was too late. I will never make such a mistake again and in this vein - I love you dad.
Jonathan Alexander is News Enterprise editor. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org