This week, we had quite a scare. I won't go into details, but lets just say that after I got a phone call from my son saying that grandpa was very sick, I immediately began to think, "Okay, this is it.". You know that feeling? I mean, most of us know, at some point we will have to face the loss of our parents. But you don't ever really think about it until something happens. We've had some near misses with my dad over the last several years, so the thought has presented itself to me more often than I would like, for sure. But this time, I really thought, "This is it." And, then thoughts like, " That was the last Christmas, that was the last birthday, the last Thanksgiving, etc. Okay, I saw him two days ago, we visited with my mom, Sister, Peanut and Baby G. (the lights of his life) for a while. I kissed him goodbye. Okay, I feel good about that. (I get to see him more often now that we live closer.) But what about my kids? They have to deal with another loss so soon? How will they deal with that? Grandpa has always been there. Who will we seek advice from when our car is acting up? Who do we call when we have a question about a cut of meat (he was a meat cutter for 40+ years)? Who will tell stories at the table at family dinner nights and holidays? Who will be around to hug pregnant bellies?! Those are his jobs! No one else can fill his shoes." Man, that was a long drive to the hospital.
|From top left: Eddie's and Dad's baby pictures- you can tell they're related, right?!; our family of five, circa 1967ish; Dad and baby G.; Dad and Little Man|
But, he is fine. Thank goodness! It was a very fluke set of circumstances that led to his emergency situation. And, chances are, it won't happen again. But, even though he is fine, I feel like I need to tell the world (or maybe just the few people who read this!) how important he is to our family. He was a very strict dad, for sure. But, be had a lot on his plate to provide for a family of five on a meat cutter's salary, so it's understandable that he didn't want to have to deal with misbehaving kids, unnecessary noise, messes, etc. He was also a little distant. He didn't show his emotions very often. (If you knew his mother, the person I refer to as 'Mean Grandma', you would know why!) But, as I've gotten older, I realize that his strictness was just because he had high expectations for us (me and my brother and sister). It is because of his high expectations that we ended up the way we did- respectable, hard working, law abiding, caring people. And, as I've gotten older, I have seen him soften (considerably!). He is an amazing Grandpa and Great Grandpa. He is EXTREMELY proud of his grand kids and tells them and shows them often. So, when I see him with them, I just think "That's how he really wanted to be with us, when we were kids". I'm so fortunate to have been able to witness that.
And I'm looking forward to much more time to witness my dad at his best. I told him the other day that we thought this was "it" and he responded, "Not yet!". Perfect answer.
Have a great day. Go hug your dad! Juli