Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Grandpa

I was talking to Grandpa Sunday night. I find that in our conversations, he tells me the same things as he did in the last call, and every once in a while he says something new. I don't mind hearing the same things over and over at all, in fact, I am quite happy that he remembers so much. I think it is just his short term memories that are a little foggy. I also find in our conversations, that we are getting to know each other very well. In the past, we had a pretty good relationship, but one with no real depth. Lately though, we are both becoming more open, more honest, more true. It is hard for me to explain, but I think that I have come to realize that he actually sees me for who I am. He accepts me as a grown man, with values and opinions that are not exactly like his. I say this to explain something further about our relationship, not really to point out some personal revelation. My point is, that I think he looks to me as someone different then family, but still family. Still trustworthy, still forgiving, still understanding, still blood.

Let me digress. My family is built of like minds. Generation, after generation following the lines of life that their parents did before them. I, on the other hand, like my Aunt P, have walked a different path. Flashbacks in my mind constantly remind me of the labels for the two of us. "Black-Sheep", "Modern-Thinker", and "Going against the grain". I used to think these labels were derogatory, but now, I am grateful. I think Grandpa thinks I will understand and accept things he doesn't normally talk about, like feelings for example.

You see, now that time has elapsed, and my Aunt and I have built these completely different lives, we are now somehow respected. I am very thankful, of course, but still, how weird is that? Like out of the blue "Bam" you are actually okay!!! Weird.

Any-way....Grandpa has told me several times that he is so proud of me. That in and of itself is amazingly fulfilling, but Sunday's call opened a whole different perspective. It was the normal call. "How's Jimmy?", "How's Lil Deb?", "You did good son, those two are good people". (For those of you not in the know, "Good People" is a very nice compliment.) Then Grandpa broke into something a little different. He started talking to me, like I was an old friend. He talked about things that I never heard him talk about before. He started talking to me about his past, proud things, not so proud things, painful things, happy things.....

The point to all this rambling, is simple. I think Grandpa is sharing things with me because he is filling in the missing chapters, with real, down to earth facts about who he is. He is laying it out on the line so that I know first hand his history. Like I am worthy of his story. He is not trying to make up for lost time, but to define the value of his life. He said "I have lived a damn good life. I am so proud of all my kids, and amazed by their kids. I look back with a smile and can say it was all very, very worth it. I've had a great life!" He said these things, and I got it. He has stopped looking forward, and started looking back.

He is talking to me, like we wont have that many more conversations left......

He is talking to me, because he feels safe doing so. No judgement, no questions, no worry. He is sharing with me the one thing our family never shared, emotion.

He is talking to me, and I am listening.

3 comments:

Bella Della January 20, 2010 at 8:07 AM  

I love this post. What a wonderful gift he is giving to you. You are so lucky to have these talks.

Hugs,
Kim

Noe Noe Girl...A Queen of all Trades. January 20, 2010 at 9:51 AM  

Great post. This is something that no one can ever take from you.
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Anonymous,  January 20, 2010 at 3:02 PM  

Yep, I think you've nailed it on the head, as usual Predo...the beginning of goodbye..is there such a thing? I think so. And you described it so beautifully.
But bear with my slightly Budhist way of thinking for a moment..
If we accept that life on this plane is temporal and take time to reflect on the path taken through this life, eventually we begin to reflect on what comes next.
In this respect-if we do this, then it's not that we have stopped looking forward, but beyond.
Lil Deb

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