Goodbye… (The Final Chapter)

Today was probably one of the most difficult days that my family, every one of us, has gone through. Early Monday morning, we lost someone very dear to each one of us. Someone that affected us deeply. I suppose that’s what happens whenever someone loses someone close to them. It won’t be easy to come home to just my grandmother, but I think I can manage it. This week has been one of the best weeks despite the loss. My family has never been closer, even though there are certainly little squabbles that will break out I’m sure.

One of my uncles was over every day, sitting with my grandmother and his mother. Sometimes there were others present, but for a while it was generally those three. I would get lunch and he would come over and slyly mention that they were talking about African Americans. He’d tell me that they had to get a lecture where they were politely informed that “negro” wasn’t the proper term any longer.

I play Soul Calibur II on the Gamecube so much this week that I actually got worse. It was kind of sad really. We enjoyed large family gatherings every night, and it really was a blessed time.

Thursday night, into Friday, I was away at Plattsburgh for my grad school interview. Now I wasn’t expecting to be leaving my home and then returning there when I went to Plattsburgh, but that wasn’t really a choice. But with that being said, my grandfather would have preferred that I went to the interview day, so I did. If there was one thing he was insistent about, it was that I get a job where I don’t have physical labor all day. I think that the interview day went well though. I talked to people on my own, which is a huge step considering I’m a natural introvert. Needless to say a lot of things have changed me, this week being the latest.

I know now what it is like to lose someone you are truly close to. Will I ever know what someone else feels, no. I don’t think that’s even possible. But I now have a realization at what it feels like.

There were a lot of people at the wake today. A lot that I didn’t know, and quite a few that I did.

My grandfather loved hunting. And that yellow bowl in the corner, he never let anyone else use it. Plus I don’t know if he ever knew but there was a hole in it, a crack that somehow never leaked. Oh, and Nascar. Between Nascar and wrestling and old Westerns and more recently Desperate Housewives, his television time was occupied. I always kidded him that the wrestling he watched, WWE and WWF, were soap operas for men (I still think they are…).

He served in the Air Force for a few years, and went on to hold several different jobs. He drove truck cross country for a long time, loved wearing those hat’s. That was one gift where it was hard to go wrong. Get him a hat and he was sure to wear it. He was annoyed when he didn’t have one. And if you can see it, that right there is a picture of them on their wedding day. 57 years ago, on March 10th. It’s been a long time for him and my grandmother. But they enjoyed and loved every second of it.

And that’s them only last year perhaps. An awesome couple that lived a long life together in a house they built with their own two hands. They raised three children, and several foster children. They have grandkids, and a couple great grandkids. I’m gonna miss him, I know that for sure…but I have mourned a life lost, now I will celebrate the life that was lived.

Rest in peace grandfather, we will always love and miss you, but the memories we have of you, we will never let them go.

I love you very much,

Jeff

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