Yesterday, Jamie’s Mom called to say that they found Granddad dead in the morning. He was on the floor and his bed had not been slept in.
Our world is altered. Yet Aysha and Cohen demand so much that it is only in the quiet moments, when they are asleep, that grief seeps in and we realize how much. They are sleeping now, and my way of dealing with grief is to write…
I am flooded with memories. Granddad taking pictures at our wedding with his digital camera – something he had well before most people. His ease with technology amazed me. He knew his way around computers, phones, DVDs – almost any new technology, while people of my parents’ generation struggle to learn the basics. Once we had a conversation about musicals, and a couple of days later Granddad showed up with a CD copy of “Jesus Christ Super Star” that he had made from his records, and a perfect replica of the booklet that went along with it carefully hand cut and bound! That sort of thoughtfulness, generosity, and creativity, was typical of Granddad.
I’m picturing Granddad working on his garage, building alternative stairs into the basement, fixing or building whenever he thought of a way to make an improvement. And I’m hearing Granddad then telling us about each project in about a hundred times more detail than anyone really cared to have.
While most 80 year olds found it difficult going for a lap around the neighborhood mall and out for coffee, Granddad was out on the ski hill!
I’m remembering how proud he looked on our wedding day, and how his eyes lit up a few years later when we told him I was pregnant. His hugs and kisses were always unreserved and wholly accepting. From the first day I met him, I felt welcome and soon loved.
I remember the moment Granddad really took note of Aysha. After a walk around Fernie with Aysha, Jamie’s Mom, and my Mom (who was visiting at the time), we ended up at Granddad’s. Six month old Aysha was being particularly smiley, and as Granddad gazed into her little face he said, “She really is a doll, isn’t she?” I knew that he’d first seen how truly beautiful his great granddaughter was. I feel sad that he will never meet Cohen, whose middle name is Granddad’s own.
This coming year, when we will be living in Fernie, our lives will be less complete than they would have been with Granddad with us. I’m grateful for all the richness Granddad has added to my life, and I’m grieving the loss of that richness for the future, not only for me, but for Jamie, Aysha, and Cohen.