I’m sitting here trying to organize my thoughts so that I can write something. I’ve felt like this since Wednesday. That morning I got up and everything progressed like normal except that Baby Girl had Kindergarten graduation that morning.
I brought her home with me afterward. I had to work from home because we were having a new garage door installed. Right before noon I heard someone walk in the back door. My mom came in the living room crying. My grandfather had passed away that morning.
It was like the other shoe had finally dropped.
Our family has been split since my grandmother passed away five years ago. Horrible things were said and divisions that had slowly been growing over the years finally split our family into a chasm the size of the Grand Canyon. The bridge that held the two sides together was gone and there was no reuniting either side.
And now this.
I wasn’t sure how I was supposed to feel. A lot of bad stuff has happened. Do you focus on that, or do you focus on all of the years that came before? Do I be strong and reinforce the dam that held back the emotions for the last five years, or do I break it down and try to survive the flood?
I did pretty good all day. I was strong. I lied and said it didn’t matter. I had said goodbye five years ago. My emotional well was dry. And then American Idol came on. And I know how silly that sounds, but that would be because you don’t know the history of our family. I sat on the couch and watched Haley walk out on stage with her dad playing guitar behind her and I just lost it.
All of these snapshots of memories started flooding my mind. All it took was the reminder of him playing the guitar behind my mother so, so many times. The tears could no longer be held back. The dam was broken.
And I knew at that point that I could either focus on the five or so bad years, or I could hold on to the thirty plus years. I could admit that he could be a truly horrible husband and a truly great grandfather. I could remember the man he ended his life as in a demented and mentally incapacitated state, or could remember the patient, hardworking man he was.
I choose the latter.
Bye-bye Paw-paw. I love you.