Monday, January 10, 2011

my papa

my grandfather died today. my friend jeanni died less than a month ago. i haven't been able to write about jeanni. yet. and i don't exactly know what to say about papa. my mom loved him so much...said she always wanted to marry him when she was a little girl. i always thought that was really special. i loved papa, too. i was proud that he had been a policeman for 32 years, although i don't ever remember him in a uniform. my mom actually has a picture of him shaking hands with jfk. i guess i really knew him best during his retirement years. he made candle holders out of blocks of wood. he loved camping. he was kind. he seemed really gentle. i felt safe with him. i always felt like he was one of the good guys, and there were times in my younger years that i didn't feel like there were many good guys out there. he was pretty religious in his older years. he taught me how to use a concordance in a bible. he was proud when i went on retreat. he was proud of my family. then he developed dementia, and he faded. he'd grip his coffee mug almost as though he knew he'd lost his mind and just couldn't remember where he'd left it. i remember a time before he was fading where we all went to my uncle's for the fourth of july. i had three kids then. our WHOLE family was it was amazing. and papa (and yang-yang...yes, this is what we called my's ok, you can laugh) just sat there smiling and proud of the whole crazy lot of us. (and while i realize all families are crazy, i can't help but feel like my own is a special brand of crazy...) the last time he was at my house, my parents and sister brought both of my grandparents. they stopped here on the way to my uncle's. i fed them lunch. my grandmother introduced me to her husband, as though he wasn't my grandfather. really, it was cute. but my grandfather drank coffee with a tight grip. he couldn't remember my name. and he seemed kind of tense about it. like he should. like he should remember a lot of things he didn't. i played a song on my blog after that visit...the one by the dixie chicks...silent house...about a grandmother with alzheimer's, which my grandmother had. but tonight, i'll play a song my mother has always played for her father. rest in peace, papa. see you on the other side.



corscorp said...


JO said...

I'm sorry about your grandpa and Jeanni.


You are in my prayers.

Ken said...

I'm sorry Your Papa and Jeanni died.

jigsaw words said...

no words. just love. your way.