We built many things together. We made a go cart out of a ride mower, built a porch, and built a shed. I feel like that was his way of showing his affection. He only lived a few blocks away when he decided to come live with us. He was 75 and couldn’t really live on his own anymore. My mom was pretty much his care giver. Living with parkinsons wasn’t easy for an artist. He was an extremely talented artist, but when the parkinsons started to get really bad, it was clear how it affected his art work. My grandpa and I tried to get along most of the time but when he moved in it became more and more difficult.
I was only 15 and going through that “you’re not the boss of me kind of stage. He was the old man who hated teenagers. Some might say there was a lot of yelling around the house. I said a lot of mean things to him many a time. My grandpa fell off our porch one day while he was alone. When my mom and I got home, our neighbors had told us that they called an ambulance for him and that he was at the hospital. Mom and I raced to the hospital and my aunts and uncles were already there. But we had received no information prior to getting to the hospital. He broke his back when he fell.
That was what kept him in the hospital. I went to see him one day before a football game, so I was in my full wools for Kilties. His eyes lit up with excitement. I had no idea how sick he was. I honestly thought he would be coming back home with us, until my cousin sort of burst on me one day and said “Don’t you get it? He won’t be leaving that hospital. I couldn’t go see him after that. I couldn’t even sit in the waiting room without coming to tears. If I couldn’t control myself in the waiting room, Lord knows I would just break in front of him. Sure we said nice things to each other the last time I saw him.
But I had no idea that was the “Last time I would see him. If I had known, oh the things I would have taken back. I still wish a million times a day that I could have told him that I loved him and thought he was a genius and so many more things. But I just kept avoiding him in fear of crying in front of him. Than one day when I was at school, a teacher walked in and asked for me. She took me to the hall and handed me her cell phone. My mom was on the line. She told me that he passed peacefully, but I didn’t take it peacefully. I was devastated. I was so upset at myself for completely avoiding him the last few days of his life.
I didn’t know. Since I was eight years old, my grandpa was pretty much my father figure. Grandpa has been gone almost four years now. My dad decided to try and keep himself in my life more now that I didn’t have that figure. He isn’t the best substitute. But at least he is making some sort of attempt. My mother left dad when I was eight years old. My dad is kind hearted. A severely confused, kind man. When he was young, may dad got into a bad car accident. Dad had to have brain surgery. He gained horrible memory from the surgery. My dad has a lot of trouble remembering dates.
Birthdays, soccer games, band concerts, just name it. He could never make it to most of these things. I always just blew it off. I am big on family. It’s important to me. So I always forgave him. He never meant to hurt me. It just really sucked when I would look up and look for him, either cheering or clapping or screaming my name, and him not be there. I told my dad to remember this date several times for several months. I made sure he asked off for it. I made sure he knew how important it was for him to be there. It’s not every day your first born child graduates high school.
He knew very well how bad I wanted him there. We got into a big fight two days before graduation. There was a lot of crying and screaming and cursing. It was pretty bad. But I still wanted him to be there May 9th. Those two days I was pretty emotional. I was leaving the high school I loved. I was also terrified dad wasn’t going to be there the 9th. Friday finally came. As I walked into the big gym where graduation was held. I searched through the bleachers. I found my mom, my sister, my aunt and cousins. Of course I didn’t expect my dad to be sitting with my mom and her family. So I kept searching and searching.
I finally realized he wasn’t there. The pain I felt when I couldn’t find him was almost to much for me to handle. I told myself to save my tears for after the ceremony so I didn’t look like I was crying for no reason. As soon as I left the gym I searched the crowd for him. I thought maybe he couldn’t find a seat and would be standing somewhere. Still no sign. When I found my mom outside, I ran to her and started crying into her chest. She asked what was wrong. All i said was “He’s not here . He tried to contact me many times. I ignored every call, every text, I avoided anywhere he might have been.
I avoided him completely. I wanted to delete him from my life. I felt he didn’t deserve forgiveness. I wasn’t going to blow off this absence. Not this time. I didn’t talk to him for over three months. I hadn’t seen him in over three months. I was hurting, Being a family person, I was having withdraws. I love my dad. It was really hard on me not talking to him. Everytime I saw his name pop up on my phone, my heart broke a little more. One day I was at work, a coworker came to me in back cash and said “Hey your dad is here to see you. I just froze. I couldn’t move and I was almost in tears.
I told her I couldn’t go up there. She went back up and said he was gone. I went back to the back window and there he was. I didn’t know what to do. I opened the window and told him I couldn’t do this. No here at my work. He just nodded his head and started to cry. When grown men cry, I lose it. The fact that it was my dad crying made it even worse. I told him to leave and broke down. I told my manager that I needed to go on break asap. That was the first time I had seen, or said anything to him in months. I decided to call him. He wanted to see me so I drove over to his work.
There was more crying and arguing, but I just couldn’t take it anymore. I forgave him. My sister however still doesn’t talk to him to this day. That has been rough on me and my dad. I just hope I can convince her to see him or talk to him again. I didn’t want to risk having what happened with my grandpa, happen with my dad. My dads pretty healthy, so I doubt he will be dying any time soon,but you never know what the next day holds. I hope she realizes that avoiding him will only make it hurt more if something happens. I know it hurt me pretty bad when I avoided seeing my grandpa.