Sunday, December 9, 2007

There are only so many tomorrows

So my mom called me on Saturday morning to give me the bad news. My grandpa passed away the day before. I knew it was coming, he had to go to the hospital because of pneumonia. The doc's tell him he's getting better (probably to get him home and let him live his remaining days at home, cause who wants to die in a hospital). I was skeptical about him being okay, I think a lot of people catch pneumonia and die shortly after.

Anyway, I know my mom is taking it pretty hard, I think she's the only one (out of her siblings) that showed she cared about my grandpa. She'll take it the hardest so I figured I could call her everyday for awhile.

I've never had a big attachment to my grandparents on either side. I never knew my father's father, I think he died when I was about 7. Don't know too much about my father's mother either, she's still alive but she's in ocean away and we've never had the money to go see her. My other grandmother was around sporadically but it always bothered my father when she was around. One particular incident seems to have always made things uncomfortable was when my grandmother beat us with a wooden spoon and my Dad wasn't having that. Although I don't know how much of a difference (in terms of pain) getting hit by my dads hand or being beat with wooden spoon really was. All I remember was thinking "we could probably just talk about this, instead of just beating the kids and apologizing afterwards" but I guess when you work a 9-5 the last thing you want to do is explain yourself to your kid when you get home. But hey, with the exception of my extremely low tolerance for shit and or stupidity, I guess I turned out pretty well.

Anyway, Sophomore year I saved 600 bucks to a hop a flight to Arizona to spend 2 weeks with the old man. I figured he wasn't going to be around much longer so I wanted to actually meet him. I'm glad I did. He had a lot of war stories, a lot of romance stories, a lot of life lessons. I pretty much scrunched what should have been 18 years of childhood bedtime stories into 2 weeks. So what else did I take a way? Well he's been married/divorced 4(?) times, currently lived with his white girlfriend (whom he met in a class). He served in WWII, still had a bad knee because of it, earned a purple heart, the mob tried to recruit him a few times because of his way with people, could occasionally bowl a 300 and an ex gambler. We also shared some intimate things about his childhood, perhaps something that he never told any of his children. I think he was open to talking with me about them simply because he knew that would be the last time we ever saw each other.

I learned a lot from him, I tried to take everything in and look at my grandpa objectively. I think he's a good person and perhaps if he has put in the effort he would have been a great grandfather. At the same time I know there are reasons why none of his sons were willing to talk to him anymore, why he went through 4 divorces etc. But I also knew he lived a full life, he definitely lived the way he wanted and made the best of everything he got. So I guess thats it. He's dead now, I don't feel that bad about it though. I feel like I should feel something, but I went out to see him of my own free will and walked a way with a slightly better understanding of myself and my mother's generation. Well I guess that about sums it up, R.I.P. grandpa.

1 comment:

Little Red said...

Hmmm... we got a good whack with a wooden spoon as children too.... I think the fear of the spoon was enough sometimes to make up stop misbehaving.

My Grandmother is alienated from all of her children now too.. we don't even know if she is alive or dead.

My sympathies on your Grandpa's death

x x