No, this isn't a grande exit or anything like that. But my head is swimming right now and I feel the urge to write. I normally would post something like this on my blog...but it doesn't get much traffic these days.
And what I'm about to write about is because, sometimes, just sometimes, it's easier to see things when I write about them.
My grandfather just died yesterday morning.
I'm numb about the whole thing. I believe doctors refer to it as shock. For me, physically, it reminds me of when I quit smoking for some reason. That feeling that something so normal, so everyday, has been removed and we have to start all over again.
My aunt, with whom he was living with, decided to take a vacation to the Jersey shore (they live in Pennsylvania) and instead of going with them, my grandfather asked if he could stay with his friends at the Senior Center. At dinner, he apparently was fine; by breakfast, he had moved on.
My relationship with this segment of my family had just boomed recently. My biological father passed away when I was 4 years old. My mother was forced to hold three-to-four different jobs a week to keep money in the coffers. Our home was in New York; but every summer, on the end of Memorial Day weekend, I was shipped off to Penn to live with my paternal grandparents. Even tho their beloved son had died, both my mother and them had maintained a very close relationship. And since money was short, having me in Penn helped greatly. Three, sometime four months I lived with them, every summer until I was 12.
Being very Old World, my grandmother taught me to cook and my grandfather taught to fix cars, fish and read the Sunday paper comics with flare.
And how to enjoy my grandmother's Double chocolate sundaes every Sunday after church and lunch.
Those days are gone now, a batch of wonderful memories I'll never forget.
The last I saw of Gordo (my grandfather, sorry, a momentary lapse) was this past June. My cousin, a Michigan cop, got married. My partner and I decided it was time for my hubbie to meet my grandfather. He was the last segment of my family I was not "out" to. I'm not sure why I could not bring myself to tell him prior. His age gave me pause, I suppose; but it was burning within me that he still didn't know about my being gay.
My grandfather and I, since about 6 years ago, you see, have been emailing each other once or twice a week. It gave him something to do; it gave me the relationship with him in this new modern age.
So my husband/partner met my grandfather.
And, not long after returning to Colorado, I got an email from him:
He said, "you know, if your roommate wants to be my grandson too, that's fine. He seems okay enough and makes you happy. And our family can always use another good person."
I don't know if I can afford to fly out to Pennsylvania to his wake; this is my first week of going back to school as a teacher--a critical time for many teachers where they establish their relationships with students.
I'm torn about going.
My partner works for AAA (for Northern California, no less!) that recongnizes domestic partners. So he can get the time off if he wants to go with me to the funeral.
My grandfather also has a little chihuahua he just adopted 4 weeks ago.
Proof that dying was not on his agenda.
I'm thinking I'll adopt the little dog. And if I do, I'll fly out to get it. Never flown with a dog before. Anyone?
I guess what causes me to well-up more than anything is that, yesterday, before heading to my early morning time at the gym (actually, something I usually can't wait for all week), I had e-mailed him my usual greetings and questions about "Gracie" his new puppy. I wrote him at around 7am MST.
I found out he had passed away during the night by 8am.
So, somewhere out in the ether that is our internet, lies a note to my beloved Grandfather. I can only hope he knows he was still on my mind.
Thanks for reading this. I feel a bit better now.
It's going to be a while before I'm whole again.