Sunday, August 03, 2008
Grandpa Shorty: 1925-2008
My beloved grandfather passed away peacefully, surrounded by his family, on Saturday. He had been unwell for a long time, but things came to a head this week.
I can't quite put my thoughts together yet to really describe what an absolutely wonderful man he was. He was a huge part of my life and I have so, so many memories of him. The bottom picture is how I remember him best: with his jeans and blue shirt and that smile.
Grandpa would never say "goodbye" - it was always "so long." And when I was a kid, every time my brothers and I left his house, we had to "give him five" and "make it pop." When we played the card game, Slap Jack, with Grandpa, no one wanted to get caught by Grandpa's hand because your own hand would hurt for days after!
He never called me Melissa. It was always "Lis." I can still hear his voice saying, "Hello, Lis!" I hope I never forget it.
I've been looking through tons of pictures since his passing and each one has never failed to make me smile. He was always there for me. And now that he's not, it's so surreal. I know that he is in a better place - his poor body simply couldn't hang on any longer. In a way, his passing was not a big shock because we have all been expecting it for some time.
But still...how can you prepare for death? How can you wrap your mind around the fact that someone you dearly love and who was always, always there in your life and in your thoughts and in your memory, is no longer here on this Earth?
There was never a time for me before Grandpa Shorty. Never. He is in my earliest memories. He is there throughout every part of my life - childhood, high school, college, marriage, motherhood. He was always there.
I miss him desperately. But I won't say goodbye because Grandpa always said that if you said "goodbye", it meant that you'd never see each other again. And I will see my Grandfather again.
So long, Grandpa Shorty. I love you so much. I will see you in Heaven. Save me a ravioli.
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