Saturday, March 12

The One About Grandpa

I need to write this; even though it is hard to think through and make the right words appear, I'm going to try. I started writing this on Feb 16, and actually finished on Mar 31. I stuck it back here in the middle of March so that it wouldn't be the first thing Dad's siblings might see. Bear with me.

3 generations
(L-R) Me, Grandpa, Bro, Dad

I didn't think Dec 21 would be the last time I'd ever see you. Hug you. Tell you that I love you. While I'm glad to have that good day as my final living memory, it still makes me sad; I think it will for a while yet.

Connie asked if I'd help carry the casket. It was an honor - do you know why? For all the times that he carried me while I was young, I was happy to help carry him this last time. Many hands make the load lighter.

The finality that is death causes most people to fear it; that's understandable, of course. I think Grandpa was "ready" though. That knowledge - or, at least, my thinking that he was ready - has helped me come to terms with the fact. I'm still sad, still have moments where I just start crying, still want to talk to him now and then; I've tried to remind myself that he lived a great and long life. He was active up until recently (he was a golfer, so it was weather permitting) and always partook of the best medicine - laughter! Grandpa laughed a lot. I can still hear it if I think about it, and I can tell you that all 3 of his sons have the same laugh. So it will continue.
I'm the lone Buddhist of my bio-family, among many Christians; however, I absolutely believe that if I talk to him, his soul can 'hear' me. I also feel confident that I had one last, post-death visit from Grandpa. It was a comfort, although I'm keeping that experience to myself in my written journal... but I know that he is okay.

Now for the hard part. Get the tissues....

Here's a song my cousin Brian shared: Dancing in Heaven (video)
Grandma died back in August 2002. I don't know where he found this song, but it is *perfect*. I think it was the hardest one for me to watch, because even thinking about the song makes me tear up.

Now, one of Grandpa's favorite songs was "Rocky Top" {live video} by the Osborne Brothers. (Here's another - "Rocky Top" {studio with static image})

Here's "Leader of the Band" by Dan Fogelberg.
I don't know, it feels right. And helps me finish crying. Still have your tissues handy? I only have half a box left....

Grandpa was writing his autobiography, thanks to my cousin Jeremy. One of my aunts is going to transcribe what he'd written so far; I believe the last entry was just a few days before his final heart attack. Once it's transcribed, I'll grab the bullet points and write up another post about him. I can tell you that he was pretty awesome, but I only know so much of his past. ;)

One more, because he was born in Kentucky: My Old Kentucky Home*

Sometimes words aren't enough, sometimes they're too much; some words are hard to find, some emotions hard to describe appropriately, and always, actions speak louder than words. Grandpa always had a smile, a hug, a laugh, a kiss; grace and passion and understanding. Those actions made the man all that will continue in his descendants.

I love you, I miss you, but I know that I'll see you in another life. Namaste.


*{The lyrics there are explained in the video. This song was not 'politically correct' until 1986 - Wiki link}

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