will you come see me thursdays and saturdays…

Dick died last Wednesday at two in the afternoon.

I’m not sure I am comfortable with the whole deal with death. Now with Dick passing, I am again confronted with my thoughts on the matter; but also, i am plagued with the death of grandfather or Papa as I had always called him. Still to this day I am drowned in the disbelieve, or denial, that he is no longer loudly asleep on the couch after lunch, walking with me as a kid down to Gary’s market on a Sunday to get the paper, or even complaining about my sister and her awful tattered blanket that was forever in tow. It just doesn’t seem right, or even fair, to have someone around for such a long time, having the memories compile and build up and for what? So you can speak about them in past tenses. Troublesome. Even now, when I think of what has become of my grandfather it makes me physically ill. What happened to this man who was commanding of one’s respect? What happened to this man who was known by almost everyone in the State of Oregon (oh, you’re the Judge’s grandson). I feel so despicable. I saw it as a chore to see this man. It was taking from my time, what a waste. Unfortunately, at the side of his bed, where he sat motionless except for his automated breathing, I came to the realization that this was the best way to spend my time. I feel selfish. This was a man who did a lot for his family and me personally. He loved me greatly, as well did I for him, but I don’t think I ever let that be communicated to its fullest capacity. An extra phone call. A few minutes of listening to him talk. But no, it was my time, too important to me to give to him… but in hindsight, I wasn’t giving up my time to him, I was making some of the most important time in my possession. I don’t think I can fairly write this off as youthful naiveness. Sometimes I wish I hadn’t seen my grandfather in the last couple years of his life, I want to remember him as the Judge. I want to remember him with his edge, his bite, the man who would be up at the earliest of early shaving, not the man who needed my help getting in and out of chairs. Don’t get me wrong, I am overwhelmingly happy that I got to have that time with him… but never shall I release the last memories. How unfair. It is indescribable how honored this man made me feel; the greatest honor was him being able to come to my graduation. not only that, but he was so happy to be there and to see me that he was crying at the end of it… I had only seen my grandfather cry once before, that time being when his wife, my grandmother, had her stroke. He could be a strict man, he could be a harsh man, but when he loved it was proof of his true core. I search and search for the right closing words, but the only phrase that comes to mind is this: I feel as I have been cheated, not by fate, not by some other body, not even by death, rather by myself; and that itself is the harshest of all.

ps. don’t believe that i am depressed because i am not… i am simply am involved in my own brand of saying good-bye.

About Wellsy

Chris is a twenty-something Special Education teacher and Football coach in a little town south of Eugene, Oregon. Chris happily lives with his beautiful wife and his terribly uncoordinated Grate Dane named Moose. Chris has been known to travel, like reading, wanting more time to writing, be in the outdoors more, and generally not befoul the world.

Posted on August 26, 2001, in family and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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