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Saturday, July 16, 2011


I find myself standing at a crossroad. Currently it's all the funerals I've attended in the past five years and how many loved ones have passed in the past fifteen years.

The one that I think hit me the hardest was my grandfather passing away back in Nov 2010.

I remember when I was little he would pull down this wooden truck. The doors were yellow, the bed red, the hood green and the wheels blue. We would sit on the floor for many hours taking turns driving it around with our hands.

The main thing I remember about him is that he always made everyone around him smile no matter how bummed out they felt. Sometimes when I look at our last picture together from when my husband and I took the kids to meet their grandparents back in 2002, I can still hear him laughing.

The first couple of days I broke down into uncontrollable tears. Whenever I thought I had finally finished crying out my last tear, out of the blue another wave would crash over me. My heart would ache so bad that I could barely breathe and tears would rain from my eyes again.

My mother in law and my husband gathered the kids and we all went out to play my favorite game {ski ball} at the family center for the day. We spent over thirty dollars in quarters that day. Even then I couldn't stop my tears for longer than a few minutes. I felt as if I'd lost my childhood best friend.

Granpa wasn't particularly my confident or anything. Truth be told unless he was telling jokes or calling my sister Chalupa-ears, he was a man of few words. But he always brought a smile to my face and made me forget whatever was weighing me down, no matter how sad or lonely I was.

When he passed away I felt as if a dark, heavy cloud had cast over me and I could barely think of anything but how much I missed him and wished he was still around.

I only saw him during the weekends whenever I lived with my mother or the summers when I lived with my father. Bouncing between the two wasn't conductive to a feeling of having a stable home, so I guess in a way Granpa was my stability.

Every time I visited him, I would ask to go see the horses hoping he would teach me to ride the horse he always said was mine. Every time he'd be worn out {I thought from working on a ranch. Little did I know he actually owned the ranch.} and would promise we could go see them next time.

I never did get to see my horse, but when he tucked us in, he would tell us kids stories about how horses and the silly things they did during the week. Those stories always made me smile. He did show us pictures of the horses, but to this day I've never ridden one, least of all mine.

That's okay though, I enjoyed knowing I had a horse that was born the year I was. It gave me the ability to dream happy dreams of riding my horse, feeding her, petting her. My life was rough pretty much since I was six years old, so those dreams were a small rays of happiness for me.

I remember that when my parents wouldn't let me keep my dog {Snoopy} Granpa took her so I could still see her whenever I visited. Snoopy was my second dog, my first one was a Golden Retriever named Goldilocks.

I remember watching Granpa playing with Snoopy through the kitchen window as I did the dishes. He'd throw the frisbee and laugh as Snoopy darted after it and brought it back wagging his tail.

Granpa would scratch behind the dog's ears and kiss the top of his head, before hugging him. When I finished the dishes I would run outside and join in. We'd play with the frisbee until it started getting dark and then go inside.

Sometimes there were a couple of squires that would run across the ground and up the tree. We would laugh and watch their antics for about an hour. I would always sleep in my father's old bedroom with the old eight track. As I grew older that became a wine room with glass shelves of lookie-no-touchies and racks of wine. Then I got moved into my AUnt Patty's old room.

After Granpa died it took me many months to get back to my usual routines. For the first couple weeks I could barely do more than functioning on auto pilot. I had no chance of ever writing anything at that point, despite writing being what got me through losing my mother's mom to cancer three years prior.

It hasn't been quite a full eight months since he passed away, but I can look at his picture and hear him laughing. I don't cry anymore either. There are days when I feel like I will cry, but I manage to get through without crying.

Our final picture together is and has been my desktop background since he passed away. Two days ago I received a DVD of his funeral in the mail from my grandmother. Since our truck broke down in 2007 I couldn't go to his funeral, but we did send flowers.

He loved flowers of every variety. The DVD was specifically made for family in hopes of bringing back memories of happier times. I want to watch the DVD really bad, yet at the same time I'm worried that if I do watch it, I will break down in tears all over again.

Currently the DVD sits here in my desk opened but unwatched because part of me is afraid that his loss is still way too fresh and raw to risk watching it.

I stare at it night and day wondering what all is on it besides the funeral. I've even picked it up several times in the last 48 hours and been tempted to play it, but so far I end up placing it back unwatched.

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