Archive | June, 2014

Rest Well, Grandpa.

23 Jun

Somehow, my father’s father died yesterday.

When you’re a kid you just don’t think these big strong men will ever NOT be big and strong.

I haven’t sat in the presence of my Grandpa in years – both of us caught up in that rip current that is daily life, drifted miles apart. When I was a kid he used to spend part of his time in Florida, where I grew up, and the other part in Ohio, where my Dad’s side of the family is from. Dad and Grandpa shared a vocation, so they would mostly talk shop when we were together, but he was always kind and loving to my sister and I. I don’t remember being super close. I don’t think we had a crawl-up-in-the-lap relationship. But we laughed, we lived.

I have memories of driving┬áto Disney in the back of his huge conversion van with my cousins (not a seat belt in sight, of course, cause that’s literally how we rolled in the nineties).

I remember he had a Cocker Spaniel named Tiffany, and he would always mix our names up, like “Tiffie, er, I mean Steffie…”, which would crack me up.

His Florida house had a little cottage apartment attached to it, which is – come on – like, the coolest thing ever. Perfect for playing house.

His voice. His hair (which had been white as long as I can remember). His laugh.

Eventually the travel took its toll, and my Grandpa sold his Florida house. I didn’t see him much after that. Then I moved to Texas, which pretty much ensured we wouldn’t be bumping into each other anytime soon.

I imagine Grandpa holding my father as a baby in his arms and looking at his face. I wonder if my Grandpa had any idea he would live to see this baby turn 60. That’s truly amazing to me. I can’t imagine what it’s like to see your child become a grandparent, though I can only pray I get the chance to see for myself.

My Grandpa never met my daughter or my son, who is in part named after him. I will regret that for the rest of my life.

You know the secrets now, Grandpa. I’m sorry we lost years – but I love you.

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