15 June 2007

Goodbye, Grandpa.

I buried my grandfather on Tuesday. It's been a tough year for grandfathers. When I moved back from Asia, I still had four grandparents. That's a lot of grandparents for any 29 year old. I was lucky to have known them. But in the year since I moved back, two decided that was enough and died. So now I am left grandfatherless. It takes some getting used to.

My grandpa was a hilarious person, who was always playing tricks on people and told terrible, truly groan worthy jokes, normally punctuated by either a lewd body part or a racial slur. I know. Racial slurs are bad. But old people have to be forgiven because, much like babies, sometimes they are stupid. My grandpa called me catfish. It was unclear as to why he called me this, but it seemed to make sense at the time. It made me feel special that he should have this special name for me.

My grandpa barbecued as if someone was going to pry his Weber grill out of his hands at any moment; he smoked meatloaf, roasted vegetables, and charred many a beast, all while holding a cold Schlitz. He loved Royals baseball, even though they have been the worst team ever since they won the world series when I was in first grade (that was in 1984, for those of you convinced that the Royals have always sucked and always will). He liked to talk about world war two. It was important to him that he had done something good for his country. He was always a patriot, a true patriot- the kind that understands that saying the president is wrong and standing up for what you believe in is the essence of patriotism, not treason.

He can be summed up this way: he wasn't the president, but then again, he didn't want to be. He was happy to have a roof, some family around, and a little extra to spend on ribs and cold beer. He lived a good life. He was faltering at the end, connected by a mortal coil of oxygen tubes. I think he was ready to go. This is what we tell ourselves. We don't know if they were ready. But we hope they were.

My grandma spoke with brevity what I could take pages to explain:

“He was a good man and a good husband. We had a lot of fun. We did the best we could with what we had. We had a good run.”

I hope to do as well.

3 comments:

Princess Amber said...

Hugs and love Sugar.

the princess said...

You made me cry, buddy. That was a beautiful tribute. I wish I'd known your grandpa.

katastrophe said...

you know weepy ladies. me too, my friend.