This Sunday, November 16, 2014 will be the 22 year anniversary of my grandfather’s death. This is a time when I get depressed every year, and yet, I only realized last night why I am starting to feel this way. I feel tired (I always feel tired, but this is more pronounced, deeper). I don’t want to eat, even when I am hungry, just because I don’t have the energy or motivation to get up and either make something, or even grab something pre-made from the fridge. I don’t want to get out of bed. I don’t want to get dressed, or go outside, or do anything, and I don’t want to deal with the world. I want to lay in bed, snuggled up in my blankets, and just wait for the world to fall down around me. However, I cannot do that. I have a two year old who would not allow for it. One hour into my self induced hibernation, and she would be screaming for me to get her out of bed and feed her. Thank God I have her, or I would not be writing this. I would still be in my blanket cave, with the window open and the fan on despite the chill of autumn in New Hampshire. Some days, she truly is the only thing that gets me through the day.
My grampa was my best friend. I would visit him often, staying with him when I was home sick from school, and I remember getting on the bus to school from his house because my mother would work too early in the mornings. I remember what his house looked like, I would walk in the front door to the living room, his armchair to my left, and the television on the right, with his “God is good” placard sitting on top. Next to his chair, were several jars of candy, and a squirrel sat on the windowsill to hold his change. On the other side of his chair was the couch. A myriad of coloring books lay across the top of the couch, I remember coloring them, all of the barbies had to have yellow hair, even if they already had pre darkened hair. In front of the couch was the coffee table I would hide under when Harvey came to deliver Meals on Wheels. I would always jump out, and he would oblige me by feigning surprise. Next to the couch was a flight of stairs. I never did find out what was up there, we were not allowed to go up, but on the wall beside the stairs was a photograph of my grandmother, Hazel, underneath which was a sign promoting her home made fudge. The kitchen opened up from there, where he always had raisin bread in the bread box and Moxie in the fridge. Against the back wall was his table. We would play Barrel of Monkeys and Pick up Stix there when my dad came to visit.
One time, I caught a little grass snake on the lawn in front of his house. Grampa was all for letting me keep it, but my dad told me to let him go. I hope that little snake lived a long happy life. I also remember he took me to McDonalds one day for lunch, and I ordered a cheese burger. I got upset that it had mustard on it, but he made me eat it anyway, and since then, that is the only way I will eat mustard. He is the reason I don’t mind shots… he held my hand once, and talked to me while I got one, and they have never bothered me since. I remember the day he passed, November 16, 1992. He had just turned 80 on October 12, and he was in the hospital. I remember sitting in the waiting room, Tiny Toons was on the hospital TV when we were called into his room. He promised me he was not going to die. We got the call that night. My final memory of him is at his wake. I tried to climb into the coffin with him, I did not want him to be gone. I still don’t want him to be gone.
You would think that after twenty two years, I would be able to let go. You’d think I would be over it. As Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes says in his song “Landlocked Blues”, “You’d think after twenty two years, I’d be used to the spin. But it only feels worse when I stay in one place, so I’m always pacing around or walking away.” I have found that I cannot let go, and why should I? For the seven years that I knew him, he was my very favorite person in the world. He was my best friend. I always loved going to see him, even though I knew I would have to watch Star Trek, and I have never been a Trekkie (sorry to disappoint everyone).
I think of My grandfather almost every day. I wonder what he would think of the person I have become, and I wish that he could know my daughters. I know they would give him joy. I like to think that he is watching over me, and that I will see him again some day. I know I will get through this, I do every year, but still it hurts to morn the loss of someone you love so much that you can’t think of them at all without crying.
So, with all of this said, I need to take this moment to say I miss you, grampa. You have so many people who love and miss you, who think about you daily. We will see you again someday, and I just know you will have a big smile for me. I love you.
Rest in Peace
Winston Robert Clark
October 12, 1912 – November 16, 1992
You are greatly loved, and greatly missed