Sunday, May 15, 2011

When you smile.

On April 28th, my Grandfather passed away from congestive heart failure.
I got a phone call at work around 5 o'clock from my crying mother. It was the weirdest phone call I have ever received.
All through high school, we all kept thinking "its really any time now.." and not because of health issues, but because he was the most stubborn person I ever knew.
Driving with my Grandpa was one of the scariest experiences including unused turn signals, inexperience with the term "right of way", roundabouts, and not knowing the difference between on and off ramps.
Besides terrifying driving, my Grandpa was a very wonderful, loving man. I remember when we were kids and we lived on the big hill in Seatac. Grandpa Larry would come take us away from our tired parents and spoil us. I distinctly remember one summer day when James and I were playing in our back yard, I really wanted to go in the pool but mom wanted us dry for Gpa, so we decided running through the drying blankets was a good form of entertainment instead. Grandpa came walking around the house, and every angry thought I had dissipated. I remember hugging his knees and running though the house barefoot to grab Mr. Snuggle Bears and my pillow, ready to load into Grandpa's "big green bus".
Once we kissed Mom and Dad goodbye, we strapped in and started up the hill, and I will always remember James counting down from ten to "blastoff!". We always fell asleep in that van, no matter how excited we were.
I remember going to Mukelteo Beach and collecting every shell we found and even making art out of them. I remember acting like spies, jumping over the motion light, and climbing up to the cubbords to count his loose dollar bills. I remember marbles and Grandpa napping at the same time for years. I still hate thinking of how we had to stay at the table until everything was off our plates.
The night my mom called me, all I could think of was how for the last month of his life he wouldn't say her name. I couldn't think of the fun, fast grandpa I had, but the slow, swollen man that couldn't walk on his own anymore. I was thankful to finally hear of his peace, but I couldn't have gotten back to Covington fast enough for my Momma. I think that bracing for his death for so long is what really softened the blow. I have felt so numb since he has passed, but I know the service on Wednesday will do the duty of realizing he is finally gone. death is a weird thing, I doubt anyone will get used to it.
I love you Grandpa.

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