I've been meaning to blog about the rest of my trip, but things never happen like they're supposed to in my blog. I got a call from my dad about 2 hours ago that rocked my world a little.
I can always sense when he's about to tell me that someone died. He uses this really gentle tone that he never brings out for any other reason. He didn't get three words out before I thought, "Oh no, which grandparent?"
Turns out it was my PawPaw. My mom's dad, in layman's terms. I'm not altogether surprised. His health has been gradually declining since we lost Memom (my grandmother, his wife) 3 years ago. He wasn't REALLY sick, though. They think it was probably a heart attack or something similar. It was quick, whatever it was. My mom's really glad about that; she says he would've hated to know he was sick. I'm terribly sad, of course, but I'm alright. I'm more worried about my mom now that she's lost both of her parents.
I never told him so, but PawPaw was always my hero, especially when I was little. I never knew anyone else who could do so many things. He could fix anything, and I mean ANYTHING. I thought he was Superman. I hope he knew how brilliant I thought he was. As much as I wish I had told him, how the heck do bring that up in conversation?
His brilliance wasn't necessarily intelligence. It was everything he managed to do with his life. He only went to junior college, but somehow he managed to accrue a sizable fortune. He worked as an electrician until he retired in his 60's. He was drafted by the Yankees as a pitcher but turned them down to play minor league ball because he wanted to bat. He was a race car driver and must have been pretty good; he has about a million racing trophies, a few of which my brothers and I talked him into giving us when we were little. He was in the Air Force and always stood proudly when my choir got to the Air Force part of the "Armed Forces Medley;" sometimes he would raise his arms victoriously, which would probably embarrass a normal granddaughter. (Oh shit, I have to sing that song tomorrow. Bleh.) Anyway, how the hell does one person do all of that in one lifetime? If I didn't know better I'd think I made at least half of it up.
Like most old people, though, he did have a few old-fashioned flaws. He was a bit ornery and stubborn as hell. He was also kind of racist and didn't seem to get the memo that it's not ok to use the N-word. Somehow you had to forgive him, though. His brashness was strangely endearing. Besides, he loved to watch Dancing With the Stars and American Idol. How randomly hilarious is that? Moreover, how could you not love an old guy who enthusiastically followed such cheesy reality shows? Oh, and he was rooting for Adam Lambert! My grandfather was a Glambert!! Haha. I watched American Idol last season just so I could talk about it with him.
I could go on about this guy for about 20 more pages, but my brain is tired now. Thanks for reading. You guys are great. :-) I'd appreciate it if you would send my family good thoughts, especially for the funeral on Monday. Prayers too, if you're into that sort of thing. If not, no worries. Prayers are totally optional. It helps just knowing you guys are out there.