So 2011 has ushered in a new experience for me….death. My grandfather passed away April 3. He’s the first person that I’ve lost that I’ve been close to. I am having the most difficult time trying to accept that he’s gone. He was something so stable and strong and alive and vibrant in my life. You never realize how impactful people are until they’re gone.
I got a bbm from my cousin asking when I had seen Papa last. It had been over a year. He basically told me I needed to get home to see him soon. Now, my Dad and sister hadn’t mentioned anything about him being sicker than usual. I knew Papa was getting old….My mother had sent me a message saying that he was talking about his life as if it was ending. But I didn’t believe that it really was. But the bbm scared me. I flew home that day.
I had the best time with my cousin. We didn’t grow up together so it was nice to hang out and have lunch. And cry together because we knew something wasn’t right. I got to the hospital and my grandfather just looked….he didn’t look good. The way my Grandma was further alerted me to some issues. My Daddy was there reading a paper…chilling. They acted like everything was ok, but Papa didn’t look ok to me. I finally broke down and pulled Dad out into the lobby to cry. He knew…but didn’t want to admit that Papa wasn’t doing well.
I stayed by my grandfather’s side as much as I could without seeming concerned. He was fussing about
Charlie Sheen. He told me to give him some suga on the way out. For some reason I stayed and gave him another kiss before I left. I just didn’t want to let him go. On the way to my grandparents house, I couldn’t stop yapping because I couldn’t help thinking that this is what is was going to be like. My dad driving Grandma around. Grandma being in the house by herself.
On the way home I couldn’t stop crying. I knew I’d never see my grandfather again. I literally cried from the minute the plane left LAX and landed in Phoenix. When I got home, I thought of all these great things I wanted to tell my papa before he passed away. I called him every week until he passed away 3 weeks later. I never told him what I needed to.
I wasn’t surprised, but was hurt just the same. Now 3 months later I’m still trying to come to grips with the fact that my Papa is no longer with us. He did everything he could to make his passing easy for us…no funeral, requested to be cremated to avoid a burial, etc. And I’m thankful for all of that…but I can’t find a way to say good bye.
He was who I used to talk history with. He was funny. He was a strong soul. He was the backbone of our family. He wasn’t perfect by any means…but he was the best grandfather I could have ever asked for. He bought my first bike…bought our piano so his girls could learn to play. He made sure we grew up with both of our parents when my parents weren’t sure. He was the best blessing I could have ever had.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be ok with him not being here. I know he’s with me. I have a lot of his traits I know that he avoided a lot of pain, but I still wish he were here…I wish I could get one more hug or hear him fuss about one more thing. He impacted my life and I’m so thankful that he was mine.