Troubled Waters? What Troubles Does Water Have?

Troubled Waters

Grandpa died eight years ago…today.

Eight years later I still remember the telephone call telling me to hurry to the hospital and how I did my best to will that Honda to grow wings but even if I didn’t all I have to do is read this and it all comes back.

The telephone call to my own father to tell him that his dad was gone and the calls to other family members and the guilt I felt for not stopping by the house that day because I was tired. It only would have taken a moment and I would have gotten just a few more minutes to spend with grandpa.

Grandpa wouldn’t have held it against me or been upset that I didn’t stop. He would have told me that it is a waste of energy to be concerned about that but he would have done it for me and I could do no less.

He’d tell me he lived longer than he ever expected to and ask who can complain about almost 92 years and I would smile and nod but that wouldn’t stop me from reminding him that sometimes you don’t get if you don’t ask.

The Original Photo bomber

Both of my grandfathers were the kind of storyteller we all want to be. They knew how to tell a tale that held your attention and kept you transfixed, no matter how many times you had told it before.

They are part of who I am and why I find stories so interesting.

Sometimes when I think back to that night in the hospital I remember asking grandpa to tell me one more story. Tell me again about how you hired a man to pretend to be your father because you needed him to meet with your high school principal so that you would be readmitted to school.

Tell me about how the fake father belted you in front of the principal and promised you would never get in trouble in school again.

And then I’ll tell you that part of the reason why I started my reign on terror as the original photo bomber was because it made you laugh and that made me laugh.

If you were still here I’d tell you about how my intentional wandering into photos is now called photo bombing and we’d laugh about how silly that name sounds and I’d try to convince you to help me sell my services as the original photo bomber.

You’d make sure to ask me about the kids and I’d tell you what they are doing now. It would make you smile to hear about your great-granddaughter’s exploits. She is far too smart for her own good, quick-witted and is a better writer now than I was at her age.

She has the gift.

And your great grandson, well he is something else too. He loves to hang out with my dad and I. It reminds me of when you, dad and I would watch the fights or go to a ball game.

Got to tell you that it seems really unfair they never got to spend the kind of time with you that I did and that it bothers me they have so few memories of you.

Never Bet Against A Sicilian When Death Is On The Line

I don’t know if I ever thought there would be a day when I would talk about how the Princess Bride fit into a conversation about money spent fixing the front door of a home I don’t own any more.

Eight years later and I wonder if grandpa can answer if things happen for a reason or not. I have my thoughts there and I know no matter what we do some times nothing in life goes as you planned it to.

I spent enough time with grandpa to have a good understanding of his thoughts and ideas about life. Spent enough time not just as a kid but as a grownup so we got to talk about life in a very different way from when I was a kid.

He would have enjoyed reading my blogs and would have loved The Places We’ll Go. We were kindred spirits in many ways, understood parts and pieces of each other in ways others didn’t.

That is a big part of why sometimes I wish I could share a cup of coffee and tell him what is on my mind and ask what he thinks. I’d tell him about how right now it feels like I am getting ready to crossover a long bridge and some of my concerns about going over.

Change used to be so much harder for me than it is now but even though it has become easier it doesn’t mean there aren’t times when I just want to plant my feet and do all I can to stop the earth from turning so damn fast.

Troubled Waters? What Troubles Does Water Have?

Eight years later and I am still thinking about things that would make grandpa laugh. We never lacked for serious conversation nor did we lack for laughter because we had plenty of both.

I expect if grandpa were here he would have no use for talking about The Etiquette of Unfriending and would probably wonder what use people find for social media. But I expect he would also enjoy learning more about how it led to work for me and he would definitely appreciate that I left sales and went back to writing.

And I think he’d appreciate knowing I have played around with starting a blog called Letters To Grandpa and he’d laugh when I’d tell him that I intentionally didn’t provide more details because sometimes I like aggravating people.

See you around some time Grandpa, either here or in my thoughts.

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  1. Cort July 3, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Really enjoyed this post. Reminds me of the relationship I had with my grandmother. Wish I had thought as deeply about is when she was alive.

  2. Larry June 24, 2014 at 5:20 pm

    I have somewhat similar issues when my father died – didn’t make it there.
    I love hearing a good story and there is something about hearing an older person telling it. It sounds like your children have got a great inheritance.
    The fact that you are still thinking about your grandfathers is a tribute to the impact they had on you. I hope you are able to make the same positive impact on your own grandchildren some day.

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