My grandfather died 4.5 years ago not of old age, but of a broken heart.
Just short of 97 and a short 18 months after grandma died he decided he had enough and let go of the earth.
The man who at 90 something told me he thought my grandmother had a great ass said goodbye and reminded me that I had promised to pull him out of the coffin if it was too hard to stay there.
You may think that is an exaggeration and ask me if I have engaged in some sort of hyperbole and I’ll shake my head no.
Didn’t have to nor did I need to.
Grandpa said all those things to me and more.
I don’t need the blog to remember those moments or the words that came from them. Don’t need any of it because those are the kind of memories that are burnt into my head and all I need to do is click whatever button or flip whatever switch inside my head that people use to remember and it all comes back.
I Talk To Her Every Night, Before Bed
They were married for more than 75 years and knew each other for about 86 so I wasn’t surprised when Granpa told me he talked to grandma every night before bed.
Wasn’t a shock to hear him tell me how hard it was not to hold her hand and talk about whatever it is you talk about when you have seen and done it all together.
Sometimes I wonder why he died a week a before my sister’s wedding and why he couldn’t have held on one more week.
It is selfish of me but if he had asked my opinion I would have told him that grandma would have asked him to wait.
I would have told him we never stopped learning from him and thanked him for helping us to understand what The Most Valuable Possession is.
Would have told him that if grandma was around she’d make that one face, the one she did when she was irritated or upset with him.
We didn’t see it often but most of the time when we did we saw grandpa adjust his behavior immediately.
She was probably the only one he would do that for.
But every now and then she’d give him that look and he’d bark back at her and you’d see them work something out between them in silence.
Can’t tell you what it was because they didn’t need words, a look was enough.
Sometimes if I look across the room I swear I can see them sitting in their recliners, holding hands in silence and lost in their own world.
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.” ― Emily Dickinson
I remember grandpa’s funeral, staring at my mother and aunt, wondering how they were doing.
Looking down at my son’s face, wondering what was going through his mind, thinking about my daughter and how to answer the questions she would have.
Wondering what my sister, the bride-to-be was thinking and whether this was as surreal and bizarre for everyone else as it was for me.
That crazy August where we sold the house, moved, said goodbye to grandpa and a week later celebrated my sister’s wedding.
I did my best to hold onto the Reflections of the Day-Gratitude.
There Is No Bedtime For Bloggers
It must be almost 1 and down the hall the teenage boy who calls me dad has finally gone to sleep. I know it happened before midnight, but it wasn’t as early as I wanted it to be.
He told me a while back he doesn’t need a bedtime anymore and I told him if he showed me he could handle that kind of responsibility I was cool with it.
Most of the time it seems to work just fine and I don’t worry about it.
But every now and then I worry about whether he is burning the candle at both ends and he tells me he is good and that he knows I keep crazy hours.
“There is no bedtime for bloggers and I am responsible for you.”
He tells me he doesn’t understand what being a blogger has to do with it and asks me if there is a difference between a writer and a blogger.
I tell him that a writer must write and that sometimes that requires doing it whenever the muse chooses to visit.
“But dad, you said you write when you are on deadline regardless of what is going on.”
“It is true, I do but sometimes the words flow more freely than others and I pay close attention. Free flowing is a gift and you make hay while the sun shines.”
He tells me he doesn’t totally get it and I say it is ok.
“Trust me, I am your father.”
It is the kind of expression I try not to use too often because it is not substantive. It like responding with “because I said so.”
The funny thing is I don’t dislike it because I think children/people are entitled to something more but because I hate when people say that to me so I try not to do it.
Do I prefer to give my kids substantive answers?
Sure, always have but they haven’t always been in a position and sometimes still aren’t where they can understand it all.
Sometimes “because I said so” is all they need and are entitled to. When you clothe, feed and protect them there are perks that come with that.
How To Write Funny Posts That No One Will Read is the title of a post I once wrote.
I don’t know how many people read it before and if anyone will read it again. Can’t say how many or how few read my words at all.
I try my best to fill these pages with the more than just stuff. Some of it nonsense and some of it serious.
But the pauses are filled with me, with chunks and chips of me, who I am, who I was and maybe a hint of who I shall be.
Somewhere in it perhaps I’ll catch a glimpse of that which I seek and figure out if it matches what I see.
And maybe, just maybe someone who has seen behind the veil will catch sight of it too and recognize the piece they miss lies somewhere in between them and me.
Or maybe not.
Sometimes 'because I said so' is all they need and are entitled to. Click To Tweet
Grandpa once said that every time he looked at grandma he saw the girl he fell in love with and that he never saw an old lady.
“Jack, in my dreams I can still carry her and we both can run through the water and dance in the waves. We may look old to you, but we are still young.”
There are great love stories all around us. Some of us have lived or are living them and others are on their way to experience them.
Sometimes the only way to find out who and what is to keep going. That is what grandpa did and that is what grandma would say to do.
No one comments on blog posts anymore, but maybe people still try to live.