The Walking Dead Of Blogging

It has been more than a dozen years since I spent Thanksgiving with my grandparents not because they weren’t invited or failed to show but because they are all gone now.

Every one of them has moved onto wherever it is we go when we slip the bonds that lock us to this place we call earth.

The last of them to move on was my maternal grandfather.

“Grandpa, I have to leave,” I said. I bent over and told him again that I loved him and that if he wanted to let go it was ok with me. This time I just couldn’t say goodbye, so instead I said “so long” and walked out of the room. Six hours later he was gone, but in my eyes he died a hero.

Grandpa didn’t die of old age, but of a broken heart.

He and grandma were married for more than 75 years and once grandma died we wondered how long he would choose to stick around.

Eighteen months was enough for him. Eighteen months after grandma died he let go too and with that all of the generations moved up a notch.

I’m tempted to say suddenly my folks and their cousins were the old guys and the keepers of family lore but it is not true.

It wasn’t sudden nor were they entrusted as the sole arbiters of truth about our family but it felt like it.

Not really sure why, maybe because I was lucky to enter into my forties with multiple grandparents or maybe it was just because I was very close with them.

And because I became a blogger I have been able to record my own thoughts and feelings about my grandparents and the family in general.

Hell, sometimes I even write them letters here.

I am not who I was when you died. Too much has happened but that is not necessarily a bad thing. Changes come and we do our best to roll with them. Just know that you are missed and loved. And when I punch out a boy or two for trying to date your great granddaughter I’ll tell them that you helped teach me how to throw a punch. Something tells me that would make you smile. I love you grandpa, got to run now and play dad for a while.

The Walking Dead Of Blogging

A while back my kids and I had a long talk about death and dying.  We covered the obvious questions about what happens during and after and then talked about memories.

I told them that memories are what keep people from dying a complete death, meaning that as long as we had some memories to keep in our hearts no one was ever completely gone.

And in the time that has passed since the first conversation we have had reason to revisit and discussed it in more detail.

They told me they weren’t sure if they believed in any sort of afterlife and I told them they would make those choices themselves and that what they believed now might not be what they believe later.

When they asked for my thoughts I told them they have evolved and that I wouldn’t be surprised if they did again.

Experiences impact and change us, who we are today may not be who we are tomorrow.
Useful painI am not sure if I was familiar with the expression above before I saw/heard it on The Walking Dead, but that doesn’t change how much I like it.

There is something reassuring in looking at the harder experiences of our lives as having some sort of positive benefit.

Can’t say that it is applicable to all of the bad moments but I know that I would rather look for a positive spin.

Why give more power to negative energy if we don’t have to.

My daughter wants to know if I ever blogged about daddy/daughter day so that she can confirm that it meets with her approval.

I tell her that I have blogged about almost everything at some point or another and ask if she really wants to try to rewrite history.

When she asks me what that means I tell her sometimes people want to edit what we did or said in the past but that we don’t get to go back to do it.

“Dad, do you have to turn everything into a teaching moment?”

I smile and ask her if she really believes that to be true and she laughs and says no.

Our conversation is interrupted by a ringtone and she waves goodbye at me, “Kim wants to Facetime, I have to go now.”

I watch her walk back into her bedroom, the sound of the door closing reminding me of the days when I was a teenager who wanted privacy.

It feels like yesterday but the mirror and my kids prove it wasn’t.

One Door Closes & Another Opens

Mere moments later her door opens again, “Dad, why are you standing outside my door. I want to have a private conversation.”

This time I am responsible for the eye rolling. I don’t tell her I was lost in thought about my life and wasn’t paying attention to her conversation.

As I wander back towards the computer I wonder if her request for privacy should concern me or not. Chances are it is innocuous and nothing I need to be worried about, but I stop to think about it all again.

Where should I draw the lines and how involved should I be with my kids’ and their electronics.

If my grandparents were still around we probably would have talked about it at Thanksgiving, hell we would have talked about everything that is going on now and at least one of them would have called it mishegoss.

But they aren’t here, so we didn’t. That is ok, it is a natural progression, but sometimes miss having them around.

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Comments

  1. My middle schooler is constantly shutting the door. Any entrance is looked upon as invasion.
    75 years – wow!

  2. Jack, I feel the same way about my grandparents. They also are gone for quite a few years, too. But not a day goes by that I don’t miss them terribly and just wish we could have had a bit more time, but doesn’t stop me from writing about and to them, as well. Definitely get this in spades and especially around the holidays, such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, too. Wish I had some words of wisdom, but again right there with you my friend.

    • Hi Janine,

      I suppose it is almost a cliche to say we miss family more around the holidays than other times. Although it is fair for me to say I think about them all year round.

      When we are younger it is easy to figure that most people will be around forever, even when we know better. But better to learn late than never I suppose.

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