The Adventures of Kidney Boy

A Journal About Living With End Stage Renal Disease. Dialysis. Transplants. Love. Family. Friends. The Unsung Donor. This is my life, from the end of a needle to the bottom of a pill bottle.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

DInner With Pawpaw

So, recently, a photo went viral on the internet - no, I'm not talking about the one featuring my wife. (Angry Splash Mountain Lady) but the one of a grandfather in Oklahoma who made 12 burgers for his 6 grandkids.  Only one showed up, tweeted a picture and the internet went crazy; his grandkids eventually not only came by to spend some time, but they threw a big barbecue and hundreds of folks showed up!  It was a really sweet thing, and one of those times I remember the internet can be really great.

It got me thinking, too, of my grandfather.  My father's Dad - he passed away in 1998, when I was 19, just short of my 20th birthday.  It was a difficult time for me - I had not been feeling well, and was having tests done to me.  Soon after, I would be diagnosed with Sleep Apnea and given a CPAP, which really helped change my life.  But I was kind of out of it when my grandfather passed - and I was very young.  Quite unaware of what a hole in my life he would leave; I took for granted that my grandparents were around.  I was lucky enough to grow up with not only my paternal grandparents in my life,  but my maternal grandparents as well.  I just took for granted that most people had two sets of grandparents.

He was a big man - a former police officer and sheriff, and he loved to read.  I remember being fascinated by his bookshelves as a child - he always had interesting tomes of literature on them. I definitely mourn his loss for our family, and for me personally - I mourn that he never got to see me as a grown man, who married and eventually had a baby son - his great-grandson.  I miss conversations we never got to have; I miss not being able to pick his brain, and learn more lessons on adulthood from him.  I have a lot of regret that I was a typical foolish teen, and perhaps even a bit disdainful of my elders.  Being young is about being silly and making mistakes, and hindsight is 20/20.  There was time, when I was young, when older and wiser people told me "Someday, you'll miss this time."  Someday came, and hit me like a ton of bricks - but then I also remembered the good times we had.  The laughs.  The smiles - I remember his face on Christmases - with all of us grandkids around.  I still see it when I close my eyes and think of him - and I'm reminded that he was happy, and full of love for his family.  And I know that.  So, even though I can't have another burger with him, he's still there, in my mind, every time I spend time with my family now.

My maternal grandfather isn't doing so well these days, either.  I'm going to have a burger with him this week, I think.  Introduce him to his great-grandson, and spend some time with him.  Life is so cruelly beautiful sometimes, and I want to remember it all - good and bad.  And still smile.

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