My Great-Grandpa just died.

It’s really awkward when someone says that, isn’t it? ‘Cause, it’s not like you don’t care, but you just don’t know what to say, and you feel awkward, so you end up saying nothing at all.

I understand that; I never knew what to say, either.

Until, that is, I read my handy-dandy communications textbook, which states that “80% of comments made to grieving individuals were found to be unhelpful” in some study or another.

What you want to do is validate my feelings (I’m sorry, I’m here for you, etc.) rather than try to cover them up (don’t take it so hard, he was old anyway).

But anyways, I didn’t start writing this because I want you all to feel awkward; I’ve just been thinking of Grandpa Ken a lot this afternoon. I don’t feel bad for him; he was over 90 years old. He died peacefully and he was rip-roaring and ready for Heaven. Mostly, I feel a little sorry for myself. He was a good grandpa to me.

The one thing that I keep thinking of, that I just can’t get out of my mind, is the fact that though he was pretty much blind for over half of my life . . . he never failed to let me know that I was beautiful, every time I went to see him. I never really thought much about that until recently. Now, every time I think of it, I start crying.

I’m sitting in the computer lab at school right now, so don’t make me cry. That would be embarrassing.

I wish I could have known Grandpa in his younger days. It seems that Grandpa Ken was a goof; like me! I like to think that I’m a thrifty person, but I’ll never, ever match the prodigious parsimony of Grandpa. It is said that when the pickles were gone, he would drink the pickle juice . . . and like it. He went Dumpster-diving at Safeway. He ate onions like apples. Need I go on? What a role model he was for me! People thought I went over the top by saving ham bones from Easter breakfast at church (I still can’t believe they would throw them away without telling me). That behavior seems mighty unimpressive after the feats of Grandpa Ken.

Someday, Grandpa. Someday.

However I feel now, I’m glad that I was able to know my grandpa at all; a few years before I was born, he fell from a third story building and should have died.

Shoulda woulda coulda.

My aunt went to the hospital, saw him lying there, wrapped up like a mummy, and said, “Oh my gosh! He’s dead!” The nurse replied, “Guess again, Sucker!”

(The nurse probably didn’t say that, but it would have been more interesting if she had)

I’m glad he stuck around for a while.

Have fun, Grandpa. I’ll be seeing you sometime soon.




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