Tag Archives: death

This Is My (Grand)Father’s House

Spiritual moments are few and far between for me. Maybe it’s because I’m a skeptic or because I’ve learned to carefully guard my heart. But when something does sneak in, it renders me a liquid puddle of goo. I had such a moment today.

I’ve been living in my grandparents’ house for a little over a year-and-a-half. My daughter and I share living space with a housemate and our combined rent helps to pay for my grandparents’ care. Well, now it helps to pay for my grandmother’s care: my grandfather passed away January 29th. This has been their house for 50+ years, so this was my home-away-from-home. I love living here because every wall, every cabinet, every floorboard is filled with memories. Shortly after moving in I was cleaning the top of the bathroom medicine cabinet and was showered with baby powder; Grandma’s baby powder always coated the counter-tops of the bathroom.

Today I was brought to tears by a mystery smell. I don’t know what it was or why I smelled it today after so long. But it was Grandpa.

I had been changing my clothes and was about to close the closet door when I was almost knocked over by the smell of Grandpa. I couldn’t locate the source, it just hovered inside the closet – so much so that the shirt I’m currently wearing STILL smells like him! I was fixed to the spot I was standing on for a good 5 minutes, just soaking up and enjoying the smell of Grandpa.

I can’t really describe the feeling of warmth and love I got when I smelled Grandpa, but it’s something I will cling to with every fiber of my being. I was truly touched by Grandpa today.

This is my grandfather’s house. I can only hope I can continue to live here for as long as possible so it will ALWAYS be his house.

Grandpa and Em, Easter 2007

Heartbreak – Part 1

My beloved Grandpa, Ken Worden, left us today. It had been a long (to me) battle with Alzheimer’s and a short battle with an infection. I wasn’t ready. He wasn’t supposed to go first. While he had us fooled for a while with the severity of his Alzheimer’s he was never as “bad” as Grandma. I’m not ready.

This beautiful man (seriously, he was a looker!) has been such a positive influence in my life. Things were never awkward between us as I transitioned from child to teen to adult. He wasn’t just my Grandpa, he was everyone’s Grandpa; friends from school and church knew him as Grandpa and knew they could trust him with anything. His laughter, patience and indulgence in childhood wishes are an example of parenthood and grand-parenthood that anyone can look up to.

I need to write to help get my tears flowing – this whole downhill slide has prepared me for this, but it still hurts my heart – but I’m finding I don’t have the sufficient words at the moment to truly express how this man’s life has made such an impression on me and how big the hole is in my heart.

At least not in coherent sentences. But I do have individual words and phrases.

 

Yahtzee

Leverite (Leave ‘er right there)

Just for the halibut

Praline ice cream

Victor Borge

Bus driver

Handkerchief

Smiles

Hugs

Butt pats

Boysenberry syrup

Body surfing

Nose rings

Deacon

Rock hound

Uno

Green dealer’s visor

Snapdragons

Strawberries

Instant coffee

Rainbow trout

Roses

Orchids

Wheel of Fortune

Upwords

Harmonica

 

And there was always room for you in his lap in his recliner, no matter how big you were.

 

I love you Grandpa.

 

Not the best picture of my Grandpa, but the one I could find really fast and that stuck in my mind.

Grandpa and Em, 2004

Grandpa and Em, Easter 2007

(If any of you have any other words that describe Grandpa, please feel free to share them in comments below.)

I can’t/What if

I can’t

I can’t begin to process what my ears are hearing

I am struggling to come up with words of meaning and substance. Words that will calm and bring peace

A good friend of Brad’s died tonight. A car accident. Brad was in that car. Brad is okay. Physically. Physically Brad is okay.

But emotionally he is damaged. When he called to tell me that his friend didn’t make it out of surgery, I could tell in his voice before his words registered in my brain. Not only did Brad lose a friend tonight, he was there.

Along with feelings of sorrow and grief for a friend I’ll never meet, and the knowledge of how it feels to lose someone so suddenly, tragically, violently

are the feelings that it could have been Brad. Knowing how close he came to not being okay sends hot tears streaming down my cheeks. The panic of the what if leaves me gasping for air, disbelief at what hasn’t happened as if it did happen.

My feelings are nothing compared to what Brad and the rest of his friends are going through right now. There is nothing I can do or say to any of them to give peace, to help them sleep tonight. I cannot go to where Brad is. I cannot hold him and hug him and let him cry until he falls asleep to the inevitable nightmares.

I can only sit here and answer the phone if he calls. If he calls because I am of no use to him right now. I cannot do anything. Any grief I am feeling pales in comparison to his. Any guilt I feel is no match to what any of his friends may be feeling.

I can only sit here and answer the phone if he calls.