Monday, June 6, 2011

the post i haven't written sooner because i didn't know how to start it

since becoming an adult, i have not had to deal with losing many loved ones.  it seems that since turning thirty, times have changed. 
i held my husband's hand back in november.  at the end of may, he held mine.

i knew a post to eulogize my beloved Granddaddy would come at some point; i knew immediately that the words would not come quickly.
i believe he would understand why.  his offspring adored him.  and, as his oldest grandchild, i was fortunate to have spent the most time with him.

cecil thomas wells was a complex, yet simple man.  i like to think of him as an onion, with many layers (and yes, an onion for a reason: because we both loved them, and because it's one of those things that either you like or you don't--and you know why).

he could give you a look that said, "go to hell," yet, if you knew him, you knew he was really smiling at you.

he loved to frown in pictures.  perhaps because he had done it for so long that didn't want to ruin his reputation by turning the corners of his mouth upwards instead.

many decades ago, he sliced off the top of one of his big toes with the lawn mower.  he used to charge my sister a quarter to see it.

for christmas a few years ago, i gave him a fake toe in a beaker that i had found at a halloween sale. he loved it.

my earliest memories of him involve his stomping (literally) around the primitive (read: jim walter home from the 70's) version of our family's now beloved lake house retreat. his outfit of choice: scuffed up brown leather boots, zipper down, cut off jeans, and a so-old-you-can-see-straight-through-it wife beater.

he paid for my first dance classes. not because he thought i could star in the lead of giselle one day, but because he thought i was so very clumsy (i was later moved to another "dance studio" because all i learned from said class was how to moonwalk).

when i turned 15, he bought me my first (matchbox) car.

he believed it was his calling in life to tell me what i needed to study in college and/or a potential business venture i needed to pursue.  among others, his favorites were robotics and investing in gold.  yes, my grandfather, in 1998, was preaching the future of robots in surgical procedures and the increasing price of gold.

he was an outspoken man.  upon meeting david the first time, he bluntly said over a home cooked breakfast, "I don't like male nurses."  david wasn't offended.  he instantly scored points with granddaddy. 

i will remember my grandfather as a man who loved life.  he loved sunsets, boxed red wine, and laughing.  he derived great pleasure from tending to his plants, barbequing chicken, and having his loved ones around.

anyone who has lost a loved one who has been in poor health for a long time can understand the conflicting feelings of grief and relief.  of sorrow and joy.

it's only fitting that he decided to go home right before memorial day.  it's like he was saying, "have a good time. eat. drink. be merry. and think of me."

i am fortunate to have had my beloved grandfather in my life for 30 years.  he was there when i was born.  he saw me graduate (both times).  he spoke to me on shortly before i married david and expressed his extreme joy and happiness.

he was well enough to actually walk down the aisle at my sister's wedding.

and, he held on to life long enough to see his first great-grandchild, our precious sarah ringl, in person.

these last three events occurred within the past nine months.  i truly believe that it was my grandfather's
intense love of his family that kept him here long enough to be a part of them.

my grandfather taught me many things, but here's what means the most to me:
no one is perfect.  everyone makes mistakes.  even though some of these may be too much for individuals to handle, it's never too much for God.  He will always love you, forgive you, and accept you.  everyone deserves another chance at life.

granddaddy, i love you.  thank you for loving me, despite my faults.  thank you for accepting me.  thank you for understanding me.
and look out. i'm gonna moonwalk past you in heaven one day.