‘Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days’

So not only is it possible to sob at full intensity during a 250-mile drive, but let’s face it, it’s no big deal when you’ve already cried for seven days straight anyway. And listening to The Judds’ song in the title of this entry? It decimates what little peace a girl could possibly get.

“Grandpa, everything is changing fast
We call it progress, but I just don’t know
And grandpa, let’s wander back into the past
And paint me the picture of long ago.”

I’m miserable. I’m so sad I can’t breathe. The man I loved most in this world is gone and I’m not sure anyone on this earth could or even would ever be able to love me as much as he did.

I’m a little better now that I’m in D.C., although I’m looking for a place to plant a few money trees because I need to move. There’s no way I can accommodate Mom’s crap and my crap in my cute little place. (Maddie and Kadie’s shit landmines are already enough crap for one house, thanks.) Good God, the cost of real estate in Washington is atrocious.

Among the many rude things my extended relatives did was ask about how we were paying for the funeral, how we were going to pay Mom’s rent/bills and how much money I make, as they expect I should buy a house. I swear to holy Moses, I’m so through with everyone right now. Unless you’re funding any of this? Zip it.

I’ve decided that I want to have two kids. I always figured I could be persuaded to have one, maybe, if it’s with the right person. But now that I see how alone you are when your elders are gone, it’s not fair to put the weight of the world on one so-called breadwinner.

But whatever, it’s just money. Never really had any, never WILL have any, judging by the way life is going right now. But the career is in full swing and could be even fuller if I could just keep my head in the game and not have to be reminded to remove my keys from the ignition or to wipe my ass from front to back. Seriously, the short-term memory? Shot.

I’ve been talking to my grandfather in my head for days — hell, I’ve been talking out loud, too — anything to figure out where he is and if he’s OK. The other night, I think I got a sign. I was lying awake in a fetal position, sobbing (per usual) and I remembered saying earlier in the evening that I’d give anything for just one more hug from him. And in my hazy state, it felt like someone curled up behind me and held me tightly. I was wondering if it were my mom — she’s the type to crawl into bed with you.

But the bed didn’t move — I just felt like someone were holding onto me, just for a few moments, and I knew it couldn’t be her. I wasn’t sure whether I were dreaming or if that were my Grampy’s way of saying he’d made it to the other side, but I slept for the first and only time in the past week. (Trust me, I couldn’t knock myself out with three sleeping pills last night.)

Anyway, I snuck a call in to Mom today, who was sobbing (again, per usual). She had just awakened from a dream in which she was in the backseat of a car. My grandfather was driving and my grandmother was in the passenger’s seat. They stopped for gas, and my grandfather asked her if she knew how to operate the pump. She said she did, and she got out and pumped.

It came to $15 even, and she told him the total. He handed her money, and she went inside the station to pay the attendant. And when she came back out, they were gone.

I’m hoping they are together, that they are happy and free of life’s cares and doing nothing but enjoying the afterlife. They both suffered enough during their short stays on this planet — I miss them terribly,and their absence not only leaves Mom and me lonely, but it also creates worlds of problems to overcome in the short term. But to know they are healed, well, I can rest a little bit easier, and suck it up and deal with the aftermath somehow.

I’m so tired of every decision being life-or-death. I’m tired of being an overachiever — the expectations that I can handle what I’ve been given are sometimes more than I can bear. I was in South Park (Pittsburgh) with Mom yesterday, and watching a couple and their dog running around in the middle of a field. And I envied them so much — all I wanted was to be carefree and simply enjoying a moment.

I hate happy people. I hate it that the asshole who dented Mom and Grampy’s car (they both took it pretty bad) admitted he did it but refused to pay for it. Not to be an asshole, but that $1,000 he owes my family could have paid for the upfront grave-opening costs instead of me dipping into my rent money. I hate it that that derelict and his whore wife will have a happy Christmas and my mother and I are having the worst season of our lives. I hate it that people who are burdens to others will never die and yet that people who were bringing in joy as well as income (like my grandfather) have to go away and take all that light and salvation with them. I hate everyone and everything and all I want to do is make somebody hurt the way I am hurting right now.

For the prayer cards, Mom and I picked a verse that we’d used on my grandmother’s, which was that “God broke our hearts to prove to us He only takes the best.” It’s true, you know. My fuckhead uncles (Uncle Fester, Uncle Pester and Uncle Chester the Molester, for the unfamiliar) should have been in that damn casket, not my sweet and loving and genuine grandfather, who must have been adopted, I swear. Hell, I said that to some of my cousins, that the wrong one is gone. (I also called another cousin an insane fuckhead — yeah, the Tourette’s is in full gear.)

And I hate it that I’m so annoyed and bitter right now. (But trust me, they deserve it — the shit they put my mother through during the worst time in her life? Christ. Uncle Pester picked a fight with me right as I was talking to my grandfather in his little coffin. PICKED A FIGHT. Dickhead. I hate him as much as I hate the one who called my mom to read her off the day we buried my grandfather. And don’t get me started on Insane Fuckhead. Just, don’t. Another one who was trying to hold court like a goddamned queen and another one who pitched a bitch at me while I was at the coffin. I hate most of that family. There are good ones, but even them, you tend to doubt, given who raised them.

Anyway, I see opportunities in everything that has happened. I really do. I know I have the power to make a good life for Mom and me. It’ll be tough and it’s going to hurt and even suck for awhile, but it’ll work out in the end. It has to. I won’t accept any other resolution. It just kills me that my grandfather’s last words, literally, were, “Get a lawyer soon, or else I won’t be able to be here for you.”

I mean, holy shit. How do you live knowing that? You don’t. You just don’t. And I won’t let his last wish go unhonored. I couldn’t save him — and oh God, how I’d give anything to go back in time just a little over a week, when I was telling him to get back into bed, to just scoop him up and carry him out of that rathole and take him home where we could do no worse than the so-called professionals at nursing him back to health. But like I said, must every decision be life-or-death? Why can’t you just trust that the people who are supposed to help you, I dunno, WILL?!?!

We waste so much time in life, putting off visits and sentiments and things that would make us happy — that would make the people we love happy. And maybe that’s the point of all of this. I lost him — I worked too much and too hard to have the energy to go visit my family on weekends. And now, I had a cousin and a family friend offer to take in my Mom now that he’s gone, but I fought them both. They both think it’s unfair of her to infringe on my life when it’s only just starting to get good. But I want her — I want to not miss any more of her life, or her mine. We’re all each other has left in this life, and far be it from me to call the shot that keeps us apart even longer.

Damn it, I’ve made so many wrong decisions in life, I don’t want to make any more of that variety. I want everything, and I will find a way to make it work. My grandfather would want it that way, and in that, I will honor him. Because that’s what he would want, and this, I can do for him.

One Lonely Response to ‘Grandpa, tell me ’bout the good old days’

  1. Old Friend :

    As long as you are alive he is alive Dawn. He will always be part of you, people will see him when you smile, hear him when you laugh!

    Rest in peace, and thank you for your service…like my grandfather who served as well….thank you.

    I love you Dawn and your mom too!