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Monday, October 24, 2005

Ode to Grampy

My husband's grandfather died last night. And while his children mourn and struggle, and hold each other close, I can't help but think that he is watching all the commotion and thinking "what's all the fuss about?" Because for the last few years, Grampy has been a prisoner of his body. Sharp and vibrant well into his 80's, Grampy suddenly found his body giving up on him, wearing out. And I think it made him profoundly sad and desperate to move on. And he did, last night Grampy freed himself. So while my heart breaks for my father-in-law and his siblings, a little bit of me smiles at the thought of Grampy finally on the move again, and I know Grampy is up in heaven giving them a run for their money, because resting in peace is just not his style.

So in honor of the man I called Grampy, two favorite Grampy ancedotes:

Grumpy

I had been dating my husband for about 3 years when I first met Grampy. Grampy lived in Florida and only came up to visit once a year for a couple of weeks right around father's day and his birthday. And from what I had heard, Grampy was a grump. Somewhat a grump of legendary proportions. Apparently never the most affectionate of men, he was described to me by my father-in-law as "not the type of grandfather to play with you or sit you on his lap."

Well I can say that within 30 seconds of meeting Grampy, he asked me to sit right on his lap...and to his dying day, Grampy always had a smile and a wink (and a slightly inappropriate comment) for me. I truly never thought he was grumpy. Since the day I met him, he has been telling my husband to marry me...and so I fell in love with Grampy. He was a real character, and I appreciated him. Plus, I like to believe we shared an inside joke or two.

Grampy

Grampy and I had a great first meeting, and I liked him ever since. Truth be told, I beelined right to Grampy every time he was around just to hear him tell me I was pretty, and tell a few dry jokes. And I would say "hey Grampy, how is it going?" and we would talk for a few minutes, he would be smart and I would be sassy. And as we left, I would kiss him and say "bye Grampy, see you later." This went on for a few years. YEARS PEOPLE, YEARS!

And one day, after my husband and I were engaged, we were at a family party. Grampy wasn't there, and I asked for him.

My Husband's Aunt: It's so funny that you call him Grampy!

My Husband's sister: You call him Grampy?

Me: Why what should I call him?

My Husband's sister: You call him Grampy...to his face?

Me: (starting to get alarmed) Yeah....why...? That's what you guys call him...

My Husband's sister: NOT TO HIS FACE! You call him Grampy to his face?!?

Me: (on the verge of an all out panic) I HAVE BEEN CALLING HIM GRAMPY FOR THE LAST 3 YEARS!!!! YOU ARE WAITING UNTIL NOW TO TELL ME THAT NO ONE CALLS HIM GRAMPY?

My Husband's sister: We call him Grandpop. Grampy is a funny nickname, we say it to be funny to eachother!

Much laughter ensued. And I was of course, very embarrassed. But you know what? I called him Grampy until yesterday, when I said goodbye to him in the hospital. And he never once let on that he minded.

So goodbye Grampy...Thanks for always being so nice to me. We'll all miss you.

9 Comments:

Blogger undercover celebrity said...

Such a tender story. Dirty old men are so endearing once they are slightly incapacitated. :)

He sounds like such a character. And I LOVE that you call him Grampy. I think I will make my future kids call my dad grampy. Right now he's insisting on being called "coach" -- you see, he had two girls and always wanted a boy. I think being called "coach" is his idea of heaven.

4:44 PM  
Blogger Amy said...

Well done. You broke through the barrier and found the funny old man inside. You were treated to a special man and he was treated to a great relative!

9:55 AM  
Blogger Carolyn said...

You made me miss Grampy with your thoughtful post. He sounds great, and he made such an impact on you. And I believe, like you do, that he's happier now, watching over the people he loves, no longer trapped in a body that doesn't work.

1:19 AM  
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