Thursday, September 18, 2008

My Adventures In Italy: The Passing of Grandpa T

Grandpa T and me in happy times

I meant to post this earlier (but my current life is "getting in the way") to coincide with the five year anniversary of Grandpa T's passing. He died while I was in Italy (the last week I was in Verona). Following is my accounting and thoughts plus the poem I eventually managed to get written (a few days later while in Sienna) and sent off for his memorial service (which I missed being that I was on a plane en route/coming home to the States).

I was truly lucky to share a wonderful relationship with Grandpa T. I am thankful I was (I hope) able to make his life a bit better during those final years he lived in California.

Hey, Grandpa!


Love ya and miss you.

Mrs. B

11 September 2003
A sad day for me; got word from Dad that Grandpa T died on Tuesday. Although it wasn’t unexpected, and, as is often the case when folks get very old (91), almost a relief, it still shook me up a bit. Memories came flooding back; especially of the times we spent together in 2000-2002 in Escondido playing cards, talking and going out to eat. I am very sorry that I can’t be there for his (and a belated one for Grandma T) memorial service on 9/28.

Today I felt very very far away from home. I wish I could be with my family.

I’d like very much to be able to send a poem or something to be read for me at the service since I can’t be there. I hope I can get something out. I really did love him and I’d like to be able to honor him, somehow. I need to think about what type of poem.

Death always brings about a hodge-podge of emotions. Sadness, concern for others, realization that, in the end, death will eventually come for even me; fear, and sometimes even some amusement as fond memories are remembered. I don’t have any bad emotions; no remorse, guilt, shame or anger; when I think about Grandpa T.

I am pretty sure that he was ready to go. I hope, wherever he is, he’s playing cards with Grandma, puffing away on his pipe with his eye half on the Reds game while anticipating the chocolate cake he’s going to get his fill of now.

Because of this news, all of my earlier problems don’t seem like such a huge deal now. Somehow I have faith everything will be ok.

I went to St. Anastasia this afternoon to think and to reflect. It was peaceful.

St. Anastasia. I walked by this church every day on my way to school; it seemed fitting to go into it when I needed some peace

Just One More Time

I knew that it was coming
The day when you’d be gone
I thought I was ready
To receive the news
But in this, of course,
I was wrong

I am far away in Italy
I’m mixed up and feeling strange
And as I wonder
If I told you good-bye
I keep hearing
This refrain…

Just one more time
To see you
To visit you again
Just one more time
To play Gin Rummy
Even though you always win

Just one more time
To drive you through
The town of Escondido
Just one more time
To your favorite restaurant
For a margarita and a shrimp burrito

Just one more time
To eat M&Ms
Out of your mushroom candy jar
Just one more time
To smell your pipe
The essence of who you are

Just one more time
To watch you devour
A big piece of chocolate cake
Just one more time
To hear you tell me
“You’re a good kid, when you’re awake!”

Just one more time
To walk behind you
To make sure that you don’t fall
Just one more time
To tell you I love you
Just one more time, that’s all

Dedicated to Carroll L. T
My Grandpa
And my friend

Amy C. H
16 September ‘03
Sienna, Italy

Me outside the hotel where I wrote the poem in Sienna, Italy


Margot said...

How lucky you were to have had him in your life. & how lucky he was to have had you in his life, esp. at the end!

wiltwheel said...

We sure loved your Grandpa too. Don especially thought he was a great guy. You have brought wonderful people into our lives, number one being you.

Love you,