Friday’s Be Happy Challenge:
– A Note to Someone. –
This note is to my grandpa, whom we have always affectionately referred to as Poppy. He passed away on February 4, 2012. Some days, it feels like I just spoke to him yesterday. Other days it seems like he’s been gone for far too long.
Boy, do I miss you. I think about you every day, and every afternoon I wait with anticipation for my daily phone call from you. I can still hear you as I answer the phone: “Hey Marie! How are you doing today?” To which, I would always respond, “Hey Pop! I’m good – How is your day going?” Then you’d tell me all about how getting old sucks, what Gram’s “damn dog” did today, and then you’d always fill me in on all the latest family gossip. I sure miss knowing which aunt is about to file for divorce and which cousin might be experimenting with drugs! Ha ha!
I miss our talks about your time fighting in the Korean War and when we would pull out the old, dusty photo albums so you could show me all your brothers-in-arms. I still wish I would have taken the time to record your old stories.
I miss our conversations about football and my telling you that the Jets will always be better than the Giants!
I miss our political debates, too. I’ll still never understand how someone who has worked incredibly hard his entire life would support a Liberal, pro-handout government. Although I’ll always respect your views, as you’ve definitely seen more history than I have, I do wish you could see the mess Obama is making of our Country. Ha!
I miss hearing you give the kids and grandkids crap for buying anything other than a Ford! I know you worked hard at Ford your whole life, and I’m proud to tell you that I’ll never buy anything else! You’ll be pleased to know that every time Tracy or Joey has a problem with their cars, I’m the first to say, “That’s what he/she gets for buying a piece of crap that’s not a Ford!” 😉
I went back and read my Facebook messages from you the other day. Oh, was it great to see your last message to me: “Nice boat. Bye.” I miss your emails, too. They would always make me giggle when I saw periods in the middle of sentences and ten spaces between each word!
I missed buying your handkerchiefs at Christmas this past year. And it just wasn’t the same not having to stress out about remembering birthday wrapping paper so that your birthday and Christmas presents didn’t get mixed up together!
The boys still talk about the time you told them that if they gave me a hard time, you’d “knock the hell out of ‘em”! Every time they see a rainbow, they get excited and say that it’s you looking down on us.
Gram and I still sit in the living room for hours and talk about you. Would you believe that we still can’t get through one of those conversations without both bawling our eyes out?! I’m sure you can believe it! You always gave us a hard time about crying so easily!
I still wear your shirts to bed. My favorites are the one with the American flag and eagle on it and the Ford Mustang one, of course! Now I just wish I had a pair of suspenders to go with them like you always did! 😉
I can still hear you insisting that I eat more every time we came to see you. “Pop, I’m good. We just ate dinner, and I’m still full.” “Aw, come on, Marie! You need to eat. Gram made spaetzles and cream puffs. You can’t say no to that. You’ll hurt her feelings.” “Oooookay, Pop… But just a little!”
I will never, ever forget the phone call I got that terrible morning. The day started off like any other wintry Saturday… An early morning getting the boys ready for their wrestling tournaments. Our only care in the world that morning was whether they would bring home the gold. That changed in seconds. Even when I heard it, I couldn’t believe it. I was numb. It couldn’t be true. My granddaddy was going to live forever. He lived through the Depression, war, and lung cancer. He couldn’t be gone. Someone was wrong.
We rushed over to your house, and it wasn’t until I saw you – asleep in your bed – that I believed it. You looked so peaceful. Not like the times you were uncomfortable in the hospital, wishing you were back home in your own bed. I held your hands, and they were so cold. I wished I could have warmed you up.
I thought about every summer I spent with you and Gram and how we would fight when I was a pre-teen brat. I thought about our trips to the racetrack and how you would always give me a few dollars and would bet on my horses for me since I was too young. I thought about sitting at the dining room table playing poker with you before I was even in kindergarten. I thought about watching you and Gram dance at Charlene’s wedding and thinking that it was the most beautiful dance I’d ever watch. I thought about how, when I got married, I refused to make my maiden name my middle name because then I’d have to get rid of “Marie,” and that’s what you called me my whole life.
I’m so proud to be your oldest grandchild, and I’m damn proud to be a Terwilliger. I hope that I’ve made you as proud as you’ve made me. I love you, Poppy, and I miss you beyond anything that I can put into words. Whoever said that time can heal all wounds obviously never had a Poppy like you.