My Grandpa

On Monday I was making plans to take the kids to their dad for the summer. I had the basics down for months, I told Brad, I’d like him to come with me, so I could go visit family (I don’t visit my immediate family any more without him, because they are horrible to me, unless he’s there, and I didn’t think there was a way to avoid it). I’d said it for months. I got the flights booked Monday for all of us. Then he told me he had to work, he couldn’t get out of it. I was mad. He asked if we could push it until July, and I said no, I’d already made plans, and it something happened to my grandparents before then I’d hold it against him. I meant, if anything happened between June and July.

My 80 yr old grandfather was in El Paso, visiting my Aunt. He was building houses with my Aunt’s husband. Yesterday, my aunt messaged me. Grandpa was in the hospital, maybe a stroke. I told my kids he was fine. He wasn’t “sick”. He wasn’t hurt. I told my aunt to tell him to get better, because I was visiting him in June, and I didn’t want to go to freakin’ El Paso in JUNE.

A few hours later, I got another phone call. My grandpa was dead. It wasn’t a stroke, it was sepsis, which caused him to have a heart attack, which killed him.

My family isn’t really speaking to me. We haven’t spoken more than a few words in years. My husband is 2,000 miles away. My grandpa is dead. And, I just want to cry and get a hug. It looks like that won’t happen until Saturday.

Anyway, now they have to get him back to Indiana. My cousin flew to TX because she has power of attorney, but, I’m not sure when everything will happen. I just know I have a 700 mile drive coming up within the next week.

So, since I don’t really have anyone to talk to, I’ll say it all here. My Grandpa Bobby was the only stability I remember having, until I met Brad. When I was a baby, I got told he was Bob, and as babies do, I added the EE sound to the end, and he became Bobby. Once, I addressed a Christmas card to Bob LastName, and my husband saw it and said “who is that?” And, I said “Grandpa Bobby.” And, he said “Then why didn’t you write his name right?”My mom had me when she was 18, and we lived with my grandparents until she got married a year or so later.

I remember my grandpa being big and a little scary. I remember visiting and having to be quiet because he was sleeping, he worked 3rd back then, doing maintenance in factories. He’d come home so dirty my grandma wouldn’t use HER washing machine for his laundry. She went to the laundry mat. i remember getting yelled at when he was watching ALF, and told to be quiet and get out from in front of the TV.

Most of the rest of the grandkids got a very different grandpa, he’d retired and chilled out by the time most of the rest of them came along.

My grandpa was a soldier who was sent to fight in the Korean War. He didn’t graduate high school. He came home, he got married, he had 5 daughters, he was a police officer, a fireman, a farmer, a semi-truck driver and then a factory worker.

When I was 13 I ran away from home, and took my parents to court. It was a long process, that began with me talking to the police, and to CPS. I was put in foster care while we waited to see a judge. The woman at CPS told me that they usually try to keep the kid with family, but, runaways were always trouble, and nobody wanted to invite trouble into their lives. Who did I want to live with? I said I’d stay in foster care if nobody wanted me. They told me to pick a family member anyway. I said Grandpa Bobby. I cried so hard because nobody wanted me. The court date came, and the judge said “Well, your grandparents have offered to take you, if you will go. Will you go with them?” I nodded. And my giant, tough grandpa stood up in that courtroom and cried. My grandma told me later that they had been told I refused to go with them, I didn’t want anything to do with any of my family, and grandpa was afraid I was going away. When I said yes, he cried. That has ALWAYS stuck with me. No matter what, I knew he loved me.

When I got pregnant with my oldest son, I was about 8 months along and we were waiting to close on our house. And, didn’t have a place to live. Guess where I ended up? Grandpa’s. I always knew I had a place to go, no matter what. Now I don’t.

My Grandpa had the worst case of resting bitch face ever. And, several of us inherited it. I know I did. It resulted in everybody thinking he was always mad at them. I think I only ever saw him MAD a half dozen times in 32 years, but, he sure always looked like he was. He probably did 40 hrs a week of volunteer work every week since he retired. He mowed his 5 acre lawn twice a week.

My grandpa was the strongest, most dependable man I knew. I suppose the way he left was fitting. He worked and stayed busy… until he didn’t. He wasn’t stuck in a hospital bed, wasting away. That would have been terrible. I can’t even fathom that. He was doing what he loved up until the last few hours. And, that seems right.

My grandpa hated being late. If you told him you were having a party at 4pm, he’d show up at 2:30. But, by the same token, if you said it went until 6, he’d leave at 4:30pm. Whether leaving for something, or leaving something, we ALL have said a million times, “You don’t have to leave so early!”

So, I’ll say it once more, and it’s probably the most fitting time ever. Grandpa, you didn’t have to leave so early.

3 thoughts on “My Grandpa

  1. Allie says:

    I am so sorry for your loss, I hope you’re doing ok. It’s been a while since you updated…how are things going?

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