Thursday, January 22, 2009

Goodbye, Grandpa

Just a couple of hours after we got into Philly for our friends' wedding we got the news that my grandpa had passed away. He has been sick for quite a while. The last few years his health was poor, and he became a shadow of his former funny, laid back and friendly self. They think he had a stroke and he was hospitalized with the grim notion that the only thing we could do was keep him comfortable. Then he deteriorated and within a week, he was gone. He was my dad's dad, and although we didn't see him as often as we'd like to, we have plenty of fond memories. How he'd invite us to his little store at the beginning of every school year and we'd pick out whatever we needed (and some stuff we didn't too), how we had so many books growing up from when he worked at the printing press, how he'd always have a cat (or five) hanging out and taking over his yard, how he'd have some really funny treats waiting for us when we came to visit (like that one time we had frozen grapes because he wanted to cool them off for us but forgot them in the freezer. That was actually pretty good!), how he'd amuze us by wiggling his ears (my dad and sister can do it too, but she's a living proof of evolution as she can wiggle them each ear separately)...

He passed away over two weeks ago, but I just couldn't bring myself to talk about it. I know it was time, and that he didn't suffer, and that he's more comfortable wherever he is right now, if there is such a place, but I haven't seen him or my family for so long it's been really killing me. It's been four years since I saw him last, and even though I know he most likely would recognize me for a flickering moment only, it still sucks. It sucks that I couldn't be there for the funeral, and with my family, and to hug my dad. It sucks that I don't have any recent photos with him, that his smell is something I have to struggle to remember, that I've been so totally out of the picture for so long. That he couldn't come to my wedding, and never met Ant, all because I moved my life away. That I never got to say goodbye. It just... adds to the extra suckiness of losing someone you love.

My dad put together a flickr set with some photos of him throughout our family history here. This is my favorite, it's so tender. It's sad to watch them, but also fun to bring back good memories, and funny to see the parade of bad haircuts and progression of people you know from smiley kids to grumpy teens to serious adults. That's my family, folks - and I love them and miss them to bits. This summer, I promise בירושלים הבנויה.



At 8:06 AM, January 23, 2009, Anonymous mom said...


At 8:22 AM, January 23, 2009, Anonymous sarah said...


At 12:07 PM, January 23, 2009, Anonymous Dad said...

Thank you for your kind words. Looking forward to seeing you in Israel.

At 2:42 PM, January 23, 2009, Blogger Jennifer said...

Oh, I'm so very sorry about your grandfather passing. No matter how much it is "expected" it's never really expected, is it.

As a genealogy-type, I was drawn to look at your family photos, and they are beautiful. You might consider expanding upon your memories of your grandfather, and putting together a little memory book for future generations. A memorial of sorts.

At 5:31 PM, January 23, 2009, Anonymous Bec said...

I'm so sorry for you loss :(

At 9:22 PM, January 23, 2009, Blogger Poppy said...

My Opa passed away very nearly 3 years ago. I hadn't seen him in 7 years, as I emigrated halfway across the world. He couldn't come to my wedding and he never met my husband (I fear my Oma might never too.) Because of my relocation, I couldn't inherit his workshop full of tools.

It was quick and it was his time. He lived a good life and I shared many, many wonderful moments with him the years I was around. I was very lucky that I had written my grandparents a very long letter, detailing how much they meant to me, just 2 months prior. Not being able to say goodbye though... it was the worst.

My sincere best thoughts for you.


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