Unfamiliar Sadness

Today is my first day back at work since Thursday. I left for what was only supposed to be a four-day trip to Atlanta. Within probably two hours of being there, my mother's mobile phone was ringing. My grandfather had died. All I could think was that I did not want to leave Atlanta.

I was never, ever close to my father's side of the family. In fact, in recent years, I've seen less and less of them. I don't even remember the last time I saw my cousins, aunt, or uncle. It's been that long. I last saw my grandparents maybe two years ago. My family left some time in March to go visit them again, but I stayed home. I probably would have gone, but I couldn't afford the time off.

My sister's story is different. My grandfather practically raised her. She spent the first years of her life with him constantly by her side. And as a result, he's remained one of her favorite people. She once told me that she thought he loved her like she wanted others to love her. He loved both my sister and his wife in the same manner. There was nothing he wouldn't do for them. That's a trite expression. People throw that line out about others or themselves a lot. "I'm a good friend. There's nothing I wouldn't do for one of my friends." It sounds nice. I'm the first to admit that; I just think few people realize the depth of saying something like that. My grandfather embodied such a statement. I always wrestled with it being a weakness or a strength. It straddles the line so perfectly.

My grandfather wasn't very masculine. He had a small-ish frame. And in his later years, he shuffled his feet when he walked. He would smile with his eyes. He read more books than Barnes & Noble could publish. He loved history. He was an usually loud breather, especially when he ate. He would use a shoe horn to put on his shoes. He could always finish the leftovers. (I think that's a Reno trait my sister inherited.) And he really would do anything for someone that he loved. Really.


Post a Comment

<< Home