Nope, this post isn’t about my current life status. You really think I’d deny my cat-lady swag? I’m damn proud of that — I work hard to bring home the catnip … but I couldn’t resist a new journal last weekend when I was at RAYGUNshirts down in Des Moines.
Anyhow, this is about my grandpa Bob, who I’m convinced is the most selfless man I’ve ever met and will ever meet.
He passed just a few days before I left for my freshman year of college. It wasn’t until afterward that I learned he had told my grandma he hoped the end would come soon so I could go off to school without having to worry about him.
How many people do you know who would literally wish death upon themselves before putting a damper on your adventure?
My grandpa was a man of few words, but those he spoke were one of two things, or both: Hilarious or filled with wisdom. His signature phrase was “no shit,” and he used it as a response to just about anything — it could be funny, surprising, sad, happy, what have you — “no shit” was the appropriate response. As I grow older, I couldn’t agree more.
You may be wondering what on earth any of this has to do with a journal sitting on my kitchen table. Hint: It’s about the kitchen table.
Every day for I don’t know how many years, my grandpa sat at that table in that exact spot to read the newspaper front to back and drink his coffee. He sat in the same spot so much that he left marks on the edges — something that warmed my heart when I noticed it after my parents brought it to me a few weeks ago.
Now that I’m on my own, it’s nice to have a little piece of him here with me.
He was a simple, respected man, hard worker, avid outdoorsman, loving husband and caring father. He spoiled me rotten when he was here, buying me a black Shetland pony named Magic when I was 5 — every little girl’s dream. And I don’t think my father ever made any relatively major life decision without at least running it by my grandpa first.
He and my grandma were so good together — and hilarious, I might add. They met in a bar and he gave her a ride home. When he couldn’t remember her name the next day, he had to ask around to see if anyone knew her. He had guessed that maybe her name was Moana. Close, gramps. It’s Myrna. And the rest is history.
For anyone who says you can’t meet the love of your life in a bar, there’s 50 years of proof to shut that shit down.
A few weeks before he passed, he had flowers delivered to thank her for taking care of him all those years. When she received them, he whispered to my uncle, “I’ve still got it.” And he did.
My family drew close after he passed, with even faraway relatives coming to visit and grieve.
My grandma, who is so very strong, handled it the way I’d hope I would, by telling stories and, as she always does, making everyone laugh: I’ll just say we learned a lot about their sex life.
Because I know you’re reading this, hi grandma. 🙂 I love you.
So here’s to you, grandpa. You live on in every country song I hear, every beer I drink, every “no shit” I say and every bit of writing or reading I do at your table.
Until next time …
Peace, love & fairy dust,