I hadn’t spoken to him in about a week. We exchange “how are you’s” and after he answers “pretty good” & I ask him why, he says “That’s what I say” and then goes into “Unfortunately, yesterday, my grandma died.” I stopped. As I sat there in the winter chill talking to him on the phone, I had to pause in order to process this information he had just given me. His grandmother. The one I met twice & talked with & thought was the sweetest, passed away yesterday.
I continued with, “Oh my gosh, I’m so sorry. Are you okay?” Yes. He was fine, of course, he was fine. How else would he be? More than likely he would never tell me or show me much emotion. He wasn’t allowed. He was taught to shield those emotions from the world & keep them for himself to deal with.
I began to picture all the memories he had with her. You see, in a way, I think I was feeling the emotions that he was hiding. Then, he told me that her funeral was on Tuesday & he wouldn’t be going to work, instead he would be calling out. How on earth can’t you feel remorse for your own grandmother? I mean, yeah, he was sad and he told me that he might be more upset when the funeral approaches, but he was okay when we talked. I figured maybe her death didn’t register with him yet.
He is very disconnected from his family and as he told me, would refuse to hold his mother’s hand on the day of the funeral because it’s “so awkward.” But, isn’t that what family is about? Aren’t they suppose to stick together? I’m terrible at comforting people, but even if it were ‘awkward,’ I would still do it.
After we talked about his grandma for a few, the conversation shifted to, “Do I have green eyes or brown eyes?” This was a complete 180 & I was caught off guard. I said about how random this question was right after such a serious matter. He says, “Well, you only have 15 minutes.” This was absolutely true, since I was at work & only had a few minutes to spare.
When the conversation ended, the thoughts ran through my mind. There is no way that when Christmas or any holiday rolls around that he won’t think about her. She will always be present, even though she won’t physically be there. She will be noticed. After all, she was the one who talked most of the time, while his grandpa sat back and listened to her tell story after story cutting him off even if he uttered a few words. That was her. She did talk about herself a decent amount, but she was so sweet.
The first time I went to his grandmother & grandfather’s house was near the end of December. We were dating & I was meeting them for the first time. His grandma kissed me on the cheek and said it was nice to meet me. His grandpa shook my hand. She was “the talker” of the family. There were a countless amount of times where ‘I’ was swallowed up into her hole. This means, I was the one who had to sit there and listen to her tell me things while everyone around me made sure they would stay as far away as possible so they would avoid being next.
I know he warned me about that before we arrived, but I didn’t care. I liked his grandma and I know she liked me. His aunt lured me away from her to “carry some utensils” out of the room and into the kitchen. Sure, some of the time they helped me out, but, mostly, it was every man for himself. But, he never even tried to save me!
The second time, his grandpa showed me some baby pictures of my then boyfriend. After those, he shared some pictures of him flying planes with me. I thought that was cool and I liked hearing some tales from his perspective. I got to know him a little more than babbling grandma.
I waited at least a minute before I got up off the ground I was sitting on. I had to comprehend this before I entered back through the door of work. I was in a solemn mood after that. I knew her! I spent time with her. I talked with her. And, she was gone.
It’s such a sad thought to think about how one minute someone is next to you, laughing with you and then all of a sudden, they die. It’s life “poof” and it’s all over. The laughter. The smiles. The good times. The bad times. The hugging. Everything is gone in the blink of an eye.
So far I’ve known two people who’ve died in 2012. It’s only the middle of January. So far, 2012 sucks!