I could tell my mom didn’t want to talk to me. I could tell she didn’t want to pick up the phone and talk to me right when she said her usual hello, sweetie.
And I got it. I understood. The heartbreak in her voice…I could feel it. There were more sighs than usual and I could tell she’d been crying the better part of the last five days. I’ve spent the better part of the last five years crying, so I was familiar. And I was patient like she’d been with me when I needed to cry and I needed her to stay on the phone with me until I’d let it all out.
This time, she was hurting. And when she hurts I hurt, that’s how this works. I hated listening to her shaky voice crack as she told me about the preparations for my grandpa’s memorial service. Her father’s memorial service. And I hated that there was nothing I could do about it. Time. That’s what it takes, I suppose. Lots of it.
My grandma was in the background picking out hymns we’d sing as a family. His favorites. My mom and her mom were looking through old photos, most that never existed on a computer. Most we’d maybe never have anymore if we weren’t a family of sentimental packrats.
He’s only been gone five days, and I heard every second, minute, and hour of his absence in their voices.
Losing someone. It makes growing older scary. It makes watching family and friends growing older scary. It makes falling in love really scary. I mean, it can even make adopting a pet scary. The losing is inevitable but it’s never easy.
My mom and I didn’t talk long. She needed to be with her mom, remembering her dad.
This photo above is the last I have of us together and it was the last time I’d talked to him or saw him. It was at our annual July 4th party at Estling Lake—the lake I grew up on. The last thing he said to me was, “Have a good life, kid.”
I’ve been “kid” to him for as long as I can remember. He was sweet and patient and my grandma’s greatest love and biggest fan. He took my mom and her brothers on great adventures, he was a dedicated Boy Scout and friend. One of my favorite memories was watching him make his own bullets in the backyard before lunch. He’d pour the hot liquid into the molds ever so carefully. The funny thing is, I’d never seen him shoot a gun in my whole life.
My life is so good right now, and I plan on keeping it that way. For him and because of him.
I’ll miss him so much. I already do.
Losing someone. It’s not easy. So just love them as much as you can right now.
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>