My grandfather died during this time six or seven years ago. Imp was, maybe two or three. He was just old enough to remember him. He still talks about my grandfather occasionally.
I never got to say goodbye.
I didn’t know where he was.
My parents were out of town.
It wasn’t their fault. Grandpa wanted them to go. In fact, they were the ones that would call to keep me and Brother informed.
No one else did.
No one offered to take us to the hospital he was at. No one called the house to give us updates. We were cut off, left out. We did not exist.
Imp was young enough that I didn’t feel comfortable driving all over St. Louis trying to find him. Not that I really could—the car I had just gotten had suddenly developed an antifreeze leak and I was going through a bottle every other day. We later found out why. But I wasn’t trusting said car right then. I didn’t have a cell phone, either.
I think I know why we weren’t told. One so-called family member. That’s all. This woman has had it out for my parents, my brother, and me since day one. We don’t know why. I guess we aren’t good enough.
If you asked her, Brother is a large drug dealer leading her baby boy down the path to hellfire and damnation. I can almost guarantee that I rank up there with Jezebel and all the whores of Babylon. I joke when I say that my immediate family are the black sheep. She means it.
I keep telling myself that she doesn’t matter. But it still hurts, you know?
But at the same time, I remember how tired he looked the last time I saw him. We often joked that he had been practicing dieing for a good twenty years before he finally got it right. I’m of the opinion that he just gave up there at the end. But I’ll never know for sure.
Instead, I try to remember him during the better days. The man could bullshit like no one else. Growing up, I was never sure if the stories he told about growing up with his half-brother were true or not. I just wish I could remember them. They always kept me and Brother entertained.
I remember sitting underneath the crabapple tree with him snapping green beans. If I ever get my own house, there will be a crabapple tree on the property.
I remember the dorky songs he would make up on the spot. They always made me giggle and walk away if we were out in public.
I remember the first time I ever watched the movie ‘Inherit the Wind’ with Spencer Tracy. I was about fourteen or so, I guess.
See, Grandpa had snow white hair. He also looked quite a bit like Mr. Tracy did in that movie. In fact, that character of Col. Drummond could have been partially based on my grandfather. It’s part of the reason why that movie is one of my favorites.
But I still miss him.