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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:


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 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 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?!?


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.


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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