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January 27, 2011 / Bika

For Grandpa

It felt like parts of you were dying all the time, in little pieces that fell asleep and never properly woke up again. We never knew what would go next, or when, and neither did you. One day you were you, and the next you were just… less.

The last time we really talked I could see the vague confusion in your eyes. You didn’t know who I was, but I think you knew you should. Even sitting close enough to hug you I missed you so much it hurt, like you were already gone.

You had eight granddaughters but I’m sure it felt more like eight hundred when we all got together in a frenzy of Barbies and breakfast cereal. You teased every last one of us, every chance you could, because our reactions made you laugh. I’ll never forget what you used to say whenever we said or did something clever. “You’re not as dumb as you look!” you’d say, sounding impressed. You chuckled when I fell for it over and over again. I’d beam proudly at your complimentary tone, then let out an indignant “HEY!” when I realized I’d been had.

You hated spaghetti sauce and loved salt, lots of salt, salt on everything.

You went bald so young not even your own children ever saw you with hair. It was all right, though. Bald looked good on you. Shiny. When I was a little, little girl I used to touch your scalp to see how it felt. Warm, soft, fuzzy in places if Grandma hadn’t taken a razor to it in a while. One of the kids gave you a shirt that read “I’m too sexy for my hair” and you wore that sucker out. Let it never be said you didn’t have a hell of a sense of humor. Remember those short red jogging shorts? They joked that you found them at a Hare Krishna garage sale, but you didn’t care. You wore those shorts proudly with “I do what I want” written all over your face.

At boot camp I kept a photograph of you in my training manual. Whenever I got lonely, I could flip through the pages and find your smiling face. It helped.

Were you afraid, knowing you had to face that long slow spiral into the dark? Did you know you were never alone? I was always thinking of you. When the phone rang at odd hours, I was sure that this time you’d shaken one last tether and left it all behind. Though I take some small consolation in knowing your journey is done, I wish I could have held your hand. I hope you finally know peace, after all this time.

We weren’t raised to be sentimental or demonstrative. We turned up our noses at the “mushy stuff”. We knew we were loved; it was a given and never needed to be said. But I did love you, Grandpa. You were the best Grandpa I ever had.



Leave a Comment
  1. Verdus / Jan 27 2011 10:03 pm

    A touching tribute to what sounds like a good man. I’m so sorry for your loss. 😦

  2. Bika / Jan 27 2011 10:20 pm

    Thanks, Verdus, I appreciate it. ❤

  3. Trina Swaja / Jan 28 2011 11:27 am

    Nice job Becky! He was truly a special person and we will all miss him. He trusted in the lord and I know now that he is in heaven looking down no longer in pain.

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