I actually wrote this in my early twenties, right after my grandfather passed way. And, since I know that there are those close to me, and others not close to me, who have gone through some hard times here lately I thought I might share what I thought those many years ago. I wish you all hope, love and endless comfort. 🙂
Also, it is my hope that I’ve become a better writer since then… but, doubtful I am. 🙂
by Senator Brett
This is for my mother. It might get sad… it might get syrupy. I make no apologies whatsoever.
My grandfather passed away this summer. Sometime in early August he left us. A month prior to his departure I had a chance to spend a couple of weeks with him. Someone needed to take care of him, and as Fate would have it, I was so available.
For two weeks we did everything together. Everything. From shopping to eating, from reading the morning newspaper to watching an afternoon baseball game. If he needed to do it, I was there.
At the time I knew he was in serious trouble. He had made it through several strokes, but not without them taking a toll on his mind and body. He frequently forgot things… like names and two minute-old conversations. And he could only get around with the aid of a walking cane. He had lost his ability to drive a car, or dial a telephone. He was totally dependent on those around him to provide help. I know he was aware of that. I also know that it bothered him greatly.
In all the years that I knew my grandfather he had always been a strong man, a stubborn man, a man that could provide for himself. And this state of dependency was unfamiliar with him. He had a hard time adjusting to his new lifestyle. But, gradually he did… but only because he had to.
Not to say that my grandfather was all that serious. Because he wasn’t. He was a kind man, quick-witted and good-natured. He had this amazing ability to see the comedy in Life combined with a great gift for being able to point it out. And, he could smile, mostly at himself. But, it was still there.
He died while I was out of town. I was unable to be reached and so I never got my chance to say any last goodbyes. I regret that. I wish I had been there.
But, as hard as it seems, in a much different way I am almost happy that I wasn’t there when he passed away. There is a part of me that knows it was for the better because every time that he comes to mind I think of him… and how he smiled, on how he made me laugh, on how he viewed the world and how much he made me want to see it through his same comedic eyes. I can still see him as that secure man of jovial perspective. I never saw him cold, or without senses. And, so to me, he is still this living, smiling, breathing man. And, although I miss him, he is not gone from my mind. And, it’s good not having my memory of him tainted by an image of a lifeless form, but rather a collective thought of a man who had the courage to see the funniness of this world… come what may.
And, truth be told, I don’t want to say Goodbye. Not because I’m delusional of the facts, but because I want to keep him alive in my heart and mind. If there is a such thing as an Afterlife, and if there is any sort of justice in this world, then wherever my grandfather happens to be I know that he will be watching us as we walk through this world. And, he will be smiling.