Wednesday, February 13, 2008

PopPop

I've never really been able to adequately put into words the special person my grandfather was. Every year on February 13th, the anniversary of the day he died, I spend time thinking of him and missing him and wishing he was here. It was the first time my heart was well and truly broken. And this February 13th marks 15 years since he's been gone. I have lived nearly half my life without him.

Today was a busy day. Family and friends kept me busy and kept me from thinking about it too much. As I sit here crying, I think that I am mainly crying for myself and not for him. I feel as if I could have gained a great deal from his wisdom as I became an adult and that I could have asked him if I was making mistakes or if I was doing things right. He would have been a pillar of strength that I could have leaned upon in my darkest days, and he would have shared my joy with all that has gone so wonderfully right. I hope he has found the peace he so richly deserved.

And I don't want to hear that he still is there for me in some mystical afterlife, urging me on in those dark times or cheering for me through my every success. Even now after all these years, I would gladly give up that sure knowledge (if it existed) for just one more hour to talk with him again. I hate the people I know who still have their grandparents alive--the jealousy they inspire in me is outrageous. I hate that he didn't make it to my wedding. I hate that he didn't even see me graduate high school. I hate that he never met my husband, or saw my house, or knew what I chose to do with my life. I hate that he died so young and so sick and that my last memory of him is not him as the hale and hearty man he was, but rather as the shadow of himself I saw in the funeral home. I hate not hearing his voice or his wonderful laugh, I miss smelling the comforting mix of tobacco and Old Spice. I miss his stories, his humor, his advice, and his wisdom.

He was a hero, my hero, and I was and am proud to be his granddaughter.

2 pearl(s) of wisdom:

Talmadge G. said...

That was a very beautiful tribute.

I fully understand what you're saying here, and could've written much of what you said when describing the regrets I have regarding my paternal grandmother ... only you framed it far better than I could.

While he might not "be there" for you in afterlife, both of our "heroes" know all and see all from above. How could they not?

You and I both had a special blessing. My hope is that someday I can be the kind of grandfather that'll lead Tiger's child(ren) to consider me a "hero."

Stranger things have happened.

bolivar said...

Wow. I find myself rather speechless after reading your tribute. It reminds me a lot of my maternal grandmother. I think a post is forthcoming...