Monday, April 9, 2012

10 months ago today, we lost you...

Today makes it 10 months since my grandpa died. He had so many things he battled through and overcame. War. Cancer. Alzheimer's though, he couldn't shake that, sadly. It's horrible to watch someone you love be slowly taken over by such a horrible disease.

When I started thinking about it today, I had the idea to make it a blog post so I'd have somewhere to voice all the thoughts I was having. Now that I'm sitting here typing this, it's difficult to find the words I want to share. The thoughts are still there, it's just sharing them, typing them out? It seems so odd still to write about how I feel now that he's gone. There are things I want to say, things I feel would help me if I could say them out loud but, I can't bring myself to because they seem so personal. Like they're meant to just be my thoughts or memories, not to be shared with anyone, even though I think it would help to voice some of those feelings.

I have a few things of his that are mine now. My grandma wanted us all to have something of his. I have the watch he wore every day. I remember days where I'd sit in his lap in the recliner in his house and I'd randomly ask him what time it was. He'd show me that watch and ask me what time it was. I remember how grown up and special it seemed to me then to wear a watch and was excited when my mom let me get my first watch. She probably doesn't even remember it but I do. It was a cheap little watch, the type with the plastic clasp and rubber band with a cartoon character on it. Now I have that watch I show him wear every time I saw him. The watch I always asked to look at because the face was so big and it seemed so fancy to me at the time because I didn't have anything like it. It mostly stays in it's box now but sometimes I take it out. I've worn it a few times but it doesn't fit well and the face takes up most of my wrist. Sometimes when I really miss him, it helps to wear it. I think because it just brings back happy memories of him for me.

Another thing she gave me where a pair of his cufflinks. He had so many pairs and they're all so pretty. The pair she gave me have a pair of gemstones in them, tiger's eye to be exact. They're very pretty. They also just sit in their box but sometimes I like to look at them. I remember when he used to dress nice for family events. He usually just wore coveralls all the time so when he was dressed in something different, it was always a little surprising to me. I'd always expect him to come over and be in those coveralls but when he was dressed up, he looked like a snazzy business man to me.

We spent so much time there growing up. They visited often. I grew up thinking for a while that every kid saw their grandparents as much as we did. I learned pretty quickly that wasn't the case and that not every kid even liked to have theirs around. Mine, I loved having around and was always happy when they came to visit for the day or came to take my brother and I home for the weekend. Or longer during Spring Break and Summer.

My grandma wasn't strict but she had certain things she didn't like us getting in to. One of the things was a little wooden train that sit in the floor with a couple other things. She used to hate us playing with that little wooden train. It wasn't a toy but myself and all the grand kids like to play with it. I always had a love for locomotives so I especially loved playing with it. We'd drag it out when grandma wasn't around, trying not to get caught with it. Then we usually did. Then she'd tell us that it wasn't a toy and to put it back up. Then always, right on cue, grandpa would interject and tell her to leave me or whomever was playing with it alone. She'd say it's not a toy. He'd say, "it's just a wooden train, let 'em alone with it." And she did.

I know I'll always miss him. Especially since he was such a part of my life and I looked up to and respected him so much. I miss our chats on the front porch. I miss his random comments when no one thought he was paying attention to the conversation. I miss his blunt honesty. I miss hugging him and hearing him call me sugar. He's the only person who could get away with calling me that because from anyone else, I can't stand that pet name. I at least have a lot of happy memories with him and can focus on those when I'm sad and thinking about him. And mostly, I know he's not confused and in pain and suffering anymore. I know he'll never read this but I always hope I did a good enough job of letting him know that I appreciated and loved him very much. I don't torture myself with thinking about things I could have done or times I could have spent because at the end, you'll always find things you should have or could have done differently. All you can do is hopefully be happy with what was done and I really am. So while I'm sad and thinking about him today more than other days where I think about and miss him, I'm also a little happy, too. Emotions really are such a complex thing.


Jack and Jill said...

Simply beautiful and heartfelt. There is nothing else we can say. Sending hugs and good thoughts to you.

Rory said...

Beautifully worded. My grandmother had Alzheimer's, it was heartbreaking to see her so confused. I totally understand the feeling of wanting to say things and keep them in at the very same time.

I think you did a wonderful job at sharing some memories of him. So sorry you had to say goodbye to him.