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back...things to say
back...things to say
I had to go away these last four or five days. My grandfather passed away last Wednesday after a long struggle with prostate cancer and the effects of radiotherapy. I went up about 4 weeks ago with my father to see him in the hospital and see if we could help. I could tell then that he wasn't going to make it, but he did have a bit more enthusiasm and energy after our second day there. We went home thinking he could at least make it to next year. Then early Wednesday morning around 4am, the phone rang. I knew as soon as it woke me up what it was about.
We drove up that day through bad weather hitting the midwest. We saw cars off the road everywhere and even had a van lose control right in front of us and slide off sideways, but thankfully never rolled. We figured it was my grandpa's last reminder to us what cold weather was like since my family had moved down to Louisiana where we don't get any weather even close to this. We stayed at my grandparent's house. The place has issues. My grandma runs the thermostat around 80 to 85, so it's very toasty. They have had a ladybug problem in the house for years, so there are bugs flying around in the house and dead bugs in a few places. They also always wake up around 4 or 5am thanks to growing up on a farm and living that life for years. They had been married for almost 62 years. Lots of memories were coming back for all of us.
The funeral was so/so. The turnout was fine. Certain sides of the family have an odd reputation, but showed up and behaved reasonably well. My father kept reiterating to everyone who came that I was going to be a doctor, so I had a lot of old people jokingly asking me when I would finish so they could get some health care. The actual service was nice, although the minister giving the service kept stepping over his tongue and getting a little confused at times, perhaps because he personally knew my grandfather from working in the coal mines when he was young. He served in the air force, so he was also given a military burial with the gun salute and flag presentation to my grandma, etc. The weather also cooperated with us. The sun was shining, although it was still very cold. The snow had stopped and the roads were cleared off good.
This trip made me really think about my relationship with my family. My dad mentioned to the minister how his dad was his go to person for advice other than my mother. I don't have the same connection with my parents and I don't think I ever will. My brother and I are very different and I try to be the older brother that I should, but he is in his own world now. I don't have a close friend to turn to either, so I am essentially on my own. Maybe it's the best thing for me. I've always been a bit of a loner. I find it easier to do things on my own, but I appreciate help from people I can work with. I do feel like I am similar to my grandfather in many respects, although my own father says I am nothing like him. I suppose this is just one more reason to blog like this. I have a place to turn to so I can express myself, although getting advice or feedback on what I say is not much different than in real life.