Monday, June 23, 2008

Grandpa Harold

This is Hayden. He is my youngest nephew, our newest family member. I took this a couple of days ago. He's probably already grown a half inch since then - he changes quickly. I'm feeling pretty sad and looking at him makes me feel better. He's one of those sweet babies who smooshes himself into your when you hold him and smiles everytime you make goofy faces at him. He is a delight and a treasure. I'm very lucky that I get to be his Aunt. I wish he was here right now - I could use a good Hayden cuddle.

I got some really bad news today and I wrote about it in a sort of flow-like thing in my Live Journal. I'm going to repost it here, not because I'm lazy, although sometimes I am really very lazy, but I just want to tell people how wonderful my Grandpa was.

My grandpa died this morning. He was a really, really good Grandpa. He had cancer for a long time. He used to be a tugboat captain down out of Long Beach, in Southern California. Then, he moved up to Copco Lake and he owned and operated a carpet cleaning business until he was about 80 years old - he might have actually been over 80, I'm a bit upset and not clear on the details at the moment. When I went to town with him, he knew more people than I did and I'm the one who actually lived IN town. My grandpa taught me how to swim, how to ride a two-wheel bike, how to fish, how to squirt water through a hole between my pressed-together palms. He used to make jokes to distract me when I got hurt, said things like, "Look at that! You put that big crack in the sidewalk!" He used to tell me stories about being at sea - I especially remember the one about the monkey with greased tail and about how scary it was when they were with the fuel tankers during the War. He called himself the "old goat," and he called Santa, "Santy-hooks." Don't know where he got that one. He did this little dance thing, where he put out one heel and sort of swiveled with his arms out and do this little Grandpa sound. He gave big, big hugs and his cheek felt both smooth and prickily next to mine. I used to cut his hair and it was really soft, like a baby's hair, which always surprised me because he put this hairdressing (Four Fingers? Three Fingers, something like that)on it that kept it in place. When he smiled there were deep crinkles next to his eyes and he sparkled. I'm serious, he really sparkled. Grandpa was my height - 5'4". He had a permanent tan and a smudgy tattoo of a harbor on his shoulder. He was a great diver - did a perfect jack-knife, then slide across to the other side of the pool, under the surface. He loved to watch sports. He helped anybody and everybody who ever needed any help, at any time. People would get stuck up on the low spot on the lake where he lived and he'd head down to his boat, help them out. He was like my dad for the first part of my life - we lived with him and Grandma off and on for a long time. He smelled really good and he wore white t-shirts and blue jeans and cute running shoe sneakers. I haven't seen him in a few years, he moved up to Washington and I only made it up there once. I still thought about him all the time, the girls still talked about him regularly. Even in his absence he was a big part of our daily lives. He was fun and funny and warm and loving. He loved my grandma so much. He was a really, really good Grandpa.

Thanks for listening/reading.


Stephanie said...

Thanks for commenting on my blog. It means a lot and it was a very scary thing for me to post. I am so sorry to hear about your Grandpa. Cancer does suck. When we went through it "Cancer effin sucks!" ran repeatedly throguh my Your Grandpa sounds like a wonderful man. How lucky you were to have him in your life.

PSUMommy said...

Snuggles from huggy children can make the worst day better. I'm blessed with one snuggly child; he just needs to throw his arms around me and nuzzle his face into my neck, and all darkness fades away.

I'm so sorry about your grandpa. It sounds like he was a wonderful man...what a lucky man to have had such a caring and loving grandchild in his life.

Verna said...

So sorry to hear this. I've lost all my grandparents but I didn't know any of them growing up--you are very lucky to have had him while you were growing up.

mayaluna said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. Your grandfather sounds like an amazing man and I love all of your stories about him. It's so important to share those beautiful memories. Thank you for being so open. Sending you tenderness and healing.