To My Grandfather
My grandfather was a variety of things, or so he said. He told me time and time again, he could've been a stand up comedian or a song and dance man. Although I may not have fully agreed (you know those lame grandpa jokes), I entertained his aspirations, of which he said he couldn't reach because he was too old.
When I was younger, I called my grandfather close to two or three times a week. Most frequently, these phone calls consisted of the two of us, and my cousin. He screened his calls, so once the answering machine beeped I'd say, "Oh grandpa!!" and he'd pick up as quickly as his worn in legs allowed him to get to the phone. Once he heard that it was not only me on the phone, but my cousin as well, he'd always exclaim the same phrase, "Oh! I am doubly blessed! How are my two favorite granddaughters?" (we were his only granddaughters). We'd spend hours on the phone and harass him not to hang up when he said, "Okay girls, grandpa has to go now.".
As you would assume, the older I got, the busier I got and the phone calls slowly dwindled to once a week, once every two weeks, so on and so forth. I lived with my at-the-time boyfriend, went to school and worked. My spare time was slowly slipping away from me and I didn't take the time to sit down, put everything aside and give him a call so I was unaware of his typical weekly schedule anymore.
A few times I called him in the morning and he didn't answer so I waited patiently throughout the day to get a buzz back. Hours went by and nothing happened, so I kept calling and calling. My heart sank each time he failed to pick up, and a few times, I was convinced something had happened to him.
Each time, I'd get a phone call that night telling me of the day he had and how he'd enjoyed playing cards with his typical group, or spending time with his girlfriend. After the second or third time, I told him that he needed to get himself a cell phone so I knew he was okay. He replied simply, "I thought about it a few times, but grandpa's too old for that." and he probably had a point, technology was simply not his thing.
One evening, my mom was baking bread and I was spending time with my cousin. My mom came into my room, worry all over her face, "Grandpa is missing." and at that moment I knew that I would never speak to my grandfather again.
The wake was long and hard, but my cousin and I kept strong faces, sat in the front row next to our moms, and thanked everyone for coming. We were their strength that day and each other's; I couldn't have done it without her. Together, we listened as every one of his friends would say, "You two were all he talked about." and our eyes filled each time they said it. I knew it had been coming for a while, but I wasn't prepared- nothing really prepares you for that.
Thank you for being my number one fan. Every time you called, you told me all of the talents you believed I had. All of the things you knew I could do in my life, all of the potential you saw, and thank you for that. I appreciated the way you listened to everything I said, and how no matter what, you never got angry with me when I disagreed with anything you said because of the soft spot you had for me.
Every time someone cooks with garlic, I smell you. Every time an elderly man smiles at me, I think of you. There is something or multiple things that remind me of you each day; some days are harder than others. Some nights I think about how I can never call you again, and the sadness overwhelms me, but I mostly stay happy because I know you'd want nothing less. I miss your soft hands the most. I want to make you proud, and although you won't dance at my wedding like you wanted to, I'll carry you in my heart, everywhere I go.
You were a pain, but you were my pain and I love you. Thank you for being my "gramps", and I'll always be your little peanut.