I haven’t posted because I have been at a loss for words. I have been out of the country but that’s not the reason since I did have internet access. I simply didn’t write. I just thought about writing.
My Grandad died on Nov 25th.
We had a somewhat complicated relationship. We’ve been through a lot together and I loved him. I loved him not because he was perfect. He was far from it. He drank, smoked and womanized. He was estranged from his own son for years. He could be arrogant and judgmental and bossy. He never admitted when he was wrong.
But here’s the thing … We can’t only love people who do everything we would like them to do or in the way we would like them to do it. That’s not real love.
He’s the same man who stood up for me when I got in trouble at school and when he didn’t think I was getting treated properly or fairly by my Dad and Step Mom.
He was there for school plays and dance recitals and birthday parties and graduations.
He worked hard, provided well and cared about the people of the town he lived in.
He took me in – despite not being happy that his 21 yr old son had gotten someone pregnant – and never made me feel like I wasn’t wanted there. I know he loved me. He said it with his words and he showed it with his actions. He gave me a place that I could call home. He was the one who gave me the nickname Deenie. He taught me how to ride a bike and how to swim and how to tie a tie.
He reasoned with me when Grandma and I were at the worst point in our relationship – when I was a teenager and just before I moved to the USA. He got me to see things through her eyes and because of that we were able to spend our last weeks of living together in a much happier way.
So no, he wasn’t perfect. Anybody who didn’t like him, more than likely had a valid reason.
But there was a lot of good in him and no matter what he may have done or said, I do not doubt that he loved his family.
I haven’t posted because I didn’t know if that was the stuff I wanted to write about.
I didn’t know if I should write about my many happy memories with him. Like how he used to let me fall asleep in his bed because I could see the living room TV from there but he would pretend like he didn’t know that’s why I wanted to sleep in his bed. When I fell asleep he would carry me to my own bed. The next day he would complain that I was getting too heavy and I wasn’t allowed to do that anymore. Then we’d repeat the whole process.
I didn’t know if I should write about the last 2 days we spent together before he passed. There was talking and laughing and teasing and reminiscing. It was lovely. And weird. And emotional. And peaceful. And awkward. And comfortable.
I could talk about how the timing of everything was perfect, even though it sounds bad to say that. But it was. I got to see him. I got to stay in my beloved country for an extra week. I got to be away from home and work responsibilities and to be surrounded by the very best of friends and loved ones. My friends kept me laughing and that was the best medicine. I got to spend more time with my Aunt than I have in a long time. Both her and I soaked it up. We went to Church and we read in comfortable silence and we went to the supermarket and we played with the dog and we talked and it was … nice.
In my head I have written many posts about this past couple of weeks. Some of them mentioned me now being an orphan – despite having 2 living biological parents. How I feel like this is the end of a major chapter in my life. One I wasn’t ready to let go of … even though it was flawed and had been for a long time.
I thought of putting in writing all of the (probably inappropriate) things that have gone through my head this past week. Like how he and his wife got off easy. How he lived his whole life doing whatever he felt like, not worrying about how it would affect other people and how to the very end, he got what he wanted. No chemo and a quick death. Thinking about it that way I can’t help but smile a little and shake my head.
Some of the posts I wrote in my head (or on scrap paper) were long and winding and some were just a few simple words.
Another was a slide show of pictures from my childhood featuring my grandparents.
Some “posts” were sad, some were hopeful, some were happy, some were angry.
All would have been an accurate depiction of my feelings.
Yesterday was a tough day emotionally. It was the 1st day of me trying to get back into the swing of regular life and it was the anniversary of my Grandma’s death.
You see now why I haven’t been able to write. There just hasn’t been a good way to say any of the above.
My sons and I put up our Christmas tree yesterday and I went back to work today. Life goes on and I do miss writing so this is me breaking the ice and carrying on.