**Warning: This post will be a horrible rambling one…but it’s what’s in my head**
Last year, this week was easily the longest and hardest of my life. My grandpa was dying in New Jersey and I made the difficult decision not to travel there until he died (due to all that was going on at work at the time, finances, and the fact that I knew I’d be taking a week or so when he went. I didn’t feel like I could do both). Not only was I dealing with the emotional toll of my family all being there and knowing I couldn’t be, I was dealing with car issues, my debit card had been stolen, I had Jessa on my plate (or the lack of her presence at work, I suppose) and I think the roommate drama was starting then too. All I remember is that I didn’t have a car, didn’t know how I was going to pay for a plane ticket to New Jersey when my grandpa died…on that Friday, I took a break from school and just walked around the neighborhood to try and collect my thoughts, work through my emotions, etc.
The following afternoon, while I was napping, my grandpa passed away. A few of my siblings called to let me know, but I was ironically napping. A while later, my friend Hope (now my roommate) texted to ask how I was doing, or how my Grandpa was doing…I don’t really remember. I told her that he had passed away less than an hour and then had to shower and get ready to babysit for two kids, ages 2 and 6, in a hotel room for a Christmas party. The party lasted until 2 am and the kids were easily up until 11 or so. I didn’t feel much in a Christmas mood and spent the later part of the night searching for a flight to NJ. I arrived home, packed, and was on an early morning flight in less than 8 hours.
Cue to 2010. Earlier this week I was driving back from Pennsylvania and assured myself that while the anniversary of Grandpa’s death was coming and would be a hard reminder, my week was busy and I wouldn’t really have time to sit and think about it.
In the beginning of the week, this was easily true. Between Monday and Wednesday, I worked 40 hours. I was able to rest up Thursday, thankfully. Tonight, I sit for the same family as I did last year on the day my grandpa died…coincidence? I rarely babysit for this family, I think this is only the 2nd time I’ve seen them in 2010, maybe the 3rd.
I think my Grandpa is watching me today and just laughing. In the time I knew him and computers were a part of our lives, everything about Grandpa and computers was slloooow. I could do what he could faster, in an easier way, and was more *up* on technology than him.
Today, I think he’s telling me to slow down. I think one day I will look back on this day and laugh…
Around 2 pm, I put the kids down for an early rest time (birthday party this afternoon) and plugged in my phone to read emails, check Facebook, etc. All the sudden it was acting nuts and said I had to plug it into Itunes. I brought in my computer and did so, but no internet connection. Right now it’s 10 pm and I have no phone. Earlier tonight my computer crashed as well and the house I’m staying in doesn’t have (accessible) internet for me to use. The kiddos are in bed and I easily have 3 or 4 hours before their parents come home. 3 or 4 hours to sit and think, think about Grandpa, think about where my life is heading.
As I write this, I just picture my Grandpa trying to use an iPhone and it’s making me laugh and cry. He wouldn’t understand all the apps or the whole blogging thing. He would probably still be running a computer with Windows 98 and floppy disks. His house would be packed and somehow still cozy. The Lite Brite would be in the upstairs bedroom along with old calendars and things he’d think we grandkids would enjoy. There would be no cable, but a few home videos in which we’d be starring, Grandpa behind the camera. Grandpa would alternate his breakfasts, eggs one day and cereal the next. The kitchen shelves, old and dusty, would hold cans of food as old as me, or almost. There would be ice cream in the freezer, always. He’d take us down to the pond and into the cave, show us the beehives and tell stories about the bears he saw. He would explain the flowers to us, as well as the trees. We didn’t appreciate that much as kids, but I remember staying a week or so with him each summer. We’d take trips to the library and the parks, help with the honey stand at the fair (Sussex County, I thought that name was funny even at age 8 or so)…
The last time I saw my Grandpa, a year or so before he died, I didn’t have a clue it would be the last time. I took a weekend trip with my Dad and saw Grandpa on Saturday, maybe Friday night too. By Saturday evening I was struck with a horrible flu and didn’t get to say goodbye because I couldn’t go in the nursing home sick on Sunday. I think my goodbye Saturday would have been different had I known it was truly the last.
I miss you, Grandpa. Keep watching over us.