My grandfather passed away today, sometime around 2PM. He had a heart attack a few years back and hasn't been the same since. This past year has seen him in the hospital frequently and the last three months he's been in as much as he's been out. In a way, it's a kind of relief, at least to me. He's not sick anymore. He's not slow or tired or weak. No more worrying and fretting, "will he make this time?" "is this it?" I know he's at peace. He led a good, Christian life. He'll get his eternal reward. I'm worried about my grandmother, though. Ever since all us grand-kids grew up and moved out of town, she's been slowly edging closer and closer to breakdown. She's always been just a liiiiitle tightly wound. So, if you're inclined, please pray/think about my grandmother, Jeanne.
A little bit about my granddaddy Jim. He's not my "real" grandfather. My biological grandfather and grandmother divorced many years ago. My dad was young then. So all my life, he's been my grandfather just as much as any other. He was a good man. He loved his step-kids as much as his own and loved his grandkids. He was always quick with a joke, usually bad. He lived to see three generations of children: his and Jeanne's kids, those kids' kids, and just a year ago, my cousin Audrey's little girl. He was an independent kinda guy, which I, in retrospect at least, have to admire. He owned a little insurance company in Rockwell, where I grew up. He was a firefighter into his 60's, if I recall correctly. He was active in his church and community. He had been and alderman on the Rockwell city council a few times. He loved good food. Especially barbecue, and even more especially Darrell's (being the best tiny BQQ joint ever) barbecue. While I was never especially close to him, I wasn't especially distant either. He's always been a postive influence in my life. And the last few years I've gotten to really know him better. As a kid, there's a world of interaction you just don't have with adults/parents/grandparents. Since my late teens and on, it was always fun to talk with Jim. He had a quick wit, very punny and sarcastic at times. In a lot of ways, he was the perfect foil to my grandmother. She's always been Model American Homemaker. The house is always spotless. Everything must be just so. But she doesn't always do well with disorder. Jim, on the other hand, was much more laid back. And he was never shy about letting my grandmother know when it was time to chill a bit before she got too wrapped up in the housewifery. At least he made through one more Thankgivichristmas. I'll miss him, but I don't know that I'll mourn him. He lived a full life; he didn't pass on prematurely. He didn't die "before his time." I'll carry the things I've learned from him on in my mind and heart, pass those lessons on to those who need them.
Just look in on us from time to time, old man. Y'know, between rounds of golf. I know you always loved us, no matter what. Just keep loving us rom up there. And we'll meet up again someday.
take it easy, jimbo