Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Death as an afterthought

I meant to make note earlier of my grandfather dying last week. He was my biological grandfather. He lived halfway across the country. He moved there with my grandmother, who was his wife, and my mom and uncle. And then somewhere in the timeline that same year I think, my grandmother and her kids moved back here, and he stayed out there and married someone else. I think I've visited with him about a dozen times when he had some reason to come back to PA. He gave me a little stuffed animal dog which I loved and passed on to Sam. It sleeps on his bed. He also gave me a King James bible. I think that's about it. He was a nice enough sort. From his obituary I gathered that he was pretty successful and active.

In another obituary two columns over was our friend Larry's brother. Larry has probably the craziest story out of everyone Mark's introduced me to. Something along the lines of Bonnie & Clyde, only it was him and his brother, and in their armed robbery of banks I don't believe they hurt a soul. So Larry has some incredible stories of police chases and prison life. He shows up at the house on random occasions. Sometimes he brings a girlfriend and he wants to show her the animals. If we're eating Mark always tries to make him eat something, though he's just as likely to drink or smoke his meal, if you catch my drift. He takes care of his elderly mother. He's always polite and kind to me. I remember coming home from work one Summer when Lily was just a toddler, and there was Larry reading her stories under the tree in the back yard.
So one of his brothers passed away and what caught me in the obituary was that they made sure to mention that he enjoyed 'hot rods and small puppies.' And I wasn't really sure why that was significant to me, but then I realized that I was sort of touched more by this stranger's obituary than my own 'grandfather's.'
So, that's all. Just wanted to make a note.


David said...

I'm so sorry, Sara. How's your mom doing?

Belle said...

I don't know what it is about you Sara, but you touch my soul.

Becky said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. And Larry's brother. Hot rods and small puppies--I guess those are some of the good things of life.

Sara said...

Thanks all.

Becky, I'm not saying I didn't laugh about the 'hot rods and small puppies.' Dude was like 60 years old.
And my obituary will probably read 'loved ponies and pizza.'

Coffee with Cathy said...

So sorry for your losses. I love the "hot rods and small puppies" line -- what a great farewell!

Tipper said...

Sometimes people who are not related to us-end up being closer to us than family-that is just reality. It is kinda sad though. I think the puppies and hot rods part was added in his obituary-the things we enjoy should be what folks remember us for.

Better Than Machines said...

I'm sorry to hear about your losses. This really is a beautiful post.

Janet said...

I'm sorry about the loss of your grandfather.

Funny thing: I skim the obituaries every week. It's not because I expect to see someone there that I know. I think it's more that I like to imagine the story behind the words.

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