Thursday, December 13, 2012

Remembering Grandpa

I've been thinking about my grandpa tonight. He passed away over a year ago now. November 14, 2011. I was thinking and I realized that I didn't write anything about him on the one year aniversary of his death. It's not because I don't miss him, I do. The first week or so after his death I struggled with feelings of hypocrisy. I didn't cry, I slept fine at night. (Although if I took a nap in the day I would dream of the funeral and wake up drained and not refreshed.)  It took me a while to realize that I didn’t have to have extreme outward signs of distress to grieve.

I didn’t write about him and I didn't STOP on that day, one year later, and think about Grandpa. I thought about him yes, even tried to write about him, but I was doing my school or going out on the river. That day I did not feel like writing about him. It is not an obligation to write about him, yet many people do write about their loved ones on the day of their passing away.  I do not like to write unless I have the writing feeling. It just didn’t come that day. I tried to make it come but it wouldn’t so I left well enough alone.

Now I do have the writing feeling.

When I think of him it is with only good memories, and a smile. There is no heart ache but I do have feelings of regret. I wish he was still here. Believe me, it is strange to be in his house, his office, and to ride in his boats; boats that have so many memories attached to them. Besides EVERYTHING around this place, even the town itself, -some days seem it seems to me that everything is a constant, in-your-face proclamation about my grandpa, what we did together, what he looked like, what he said, what he preached, (With my grandpa everything he enjoyed was worth preaching a sermon about. sidewalks, canoeing, biking, wearing helmets, snacks, traffic, and Grandma.)- besides all that, the places that reminds me most of him are his lazy boy and the utility closet.

He used to always read to us in that big blue chair. "Joshua and the Big Bad Blue Crabs" and the Fourth of July dog one are two that especially I remember although he did read many more. I like to sit in it now and curl up reading a good book.

Once when I visited Grandma and Grandpa by myself, I finally convinced Grandpa to play hide and go seek with me. He had been putting it off much of the day, "Just let me take my nap." or ”Let’s do a puzzle instead” or "I just need to finish this card game."  (Frankly, he played hide and go seek with me so many times that week I don't blame him.) He hid in the utility closet and I never thought to look there because I thought it was off limits. When I finally did find him I couldn't help feeling a little put out. I really like that memory.

Now Grandma and Grandpa’s house is just Grandma’s. Now AL Grandma and Grandpa is just AL Grandma. Every time I go out to the river I walk down the path leading beside the canal that my grandpa dug by hand.  The entrance is starting to grow over now and the little dock is getting a little nervous to walk on. Still, sometimes when I am by myself I sit on the edge just like I used to when I was a little girl, but no longer dangle my legs. That was when Grandpa was here. Somehow they just don’t have room to dangle anymore without getting wet. That was a long time ago back then.  Those are old memories.
The more recent ones are not so pleasant. He and Grandma spent the summer with us two summers ago. Most of the time Grandpa’s body was there but HE was not. A few times, mostly late at night, I could talk with him and I did a little but he was so hard of hearing it was hard to have a conversation without waking up the whole house. Once in the morning he was eating breakfast and I came up and gave him a kiss on the cheek . He looked at me with that silly look he used to have and said “Wow!” He was always funny like that, "wow" was one of his favorite words. And come to think of it, I use that word a lot too. Besides that mostly he sat on the sofa and slept.

I have many more memories but I will not tell them all. I am sure all y’all have grandpa’s too. I suppose my grandpa was not much different than yours.  But the fact is he was MINE and that makes all the difference in the world.

My grandpa was a good man. I love him and I miss him,but it is a gentle sadness. I am so thankful to have had a grandpa like him. He makes me smile when I think of him.

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