Rest Ye Sweetly

I got The Call last night, the one I've been expecting for oh, a number of years. My grandfather, aged 96, has shuffled off this mortal coil. I have no doubt that he flew straight to my grandmother's waiting arms.

I cannot cry.

His passage represents such a huge chunk of history. He immigrated to America as a boy, and settled with his parents around what is now Temple, Texas. He joined the Marines and fought in WWII. He fell in love with my grandmother while on leave. Her family's farm wasn't that far from his. She took a train, all alone, to New Jersey to marry him beore he took off on deployment. I still have that lovely navy-blue and white dress she wed him in.

He came home and made a career with the Marines. My father grew up around Quantico. I will never know if my grandfather was disappointed when my father joined the Navy.

After leaving the Marines, he worked for places like GE and Teledyne. I learned a couple of years ago that my grandfather actually etched tiles for the first space shuttle.

He took care of me for nigh two years while my father had to go elsewhere for his job. Grandpa and my grandmother used to argue in Czech so that I wouldn't understand what they were saying. He built me a treehouse in a huge pecan tree in his backyard. The tree, and the house, fell down only five years ago.

I still can't cry.

He was a good man, a stern father, and a doting grandfather. He called me his princess.

We have no money with which to go to his funeral. We're too broke for that. I feel a lot of ways about that, which I won't go into here lest this post dissolve into a whine of some sort.

My father called on his cell phone last night, and spoke for only a couple of minutes with my husband. His regular phone service is knocked out, thanks to storms, until at least tomorrow. He was out of minutes on his pay-as-you-go cell, and has to purchase some more. He just told S. to tell me that my grandfather passed around 7:00 a.m., Thanksgiving Day, and went peacefully in his sleep.

OK, now I'm crying. Goodbye, Grandpa.

posted by Linda on November 26, 2004 02:50 PM

May he rest in peace, and may your memories of him shine brightly.

Posted by: Tony Iovino at November 26, 2004 04:22 PM

He knew you loved him.

Posted by: Briar at November 26, 2004 06:06 PM

My deepest sympathies to you and your family. I am sending all the hugs I can. He sounds like he was a wonderful individual and that he was well loved, and as you said, was more than ready to reunite with his wife. May he rest in peace.

Posted by: Ethne at November 26, 2004 09:37 PM

My condolences.

Posted by: Ted at November 29, 2004 11:25 AM

My best wishes to you in your moment of loss. We all have times of trial and trouble in our lives. It's nice to be able to remember the very special good times to get us through the cloudy days. That your grandfather was able to give you 96 years worth of memories must be a great confort to you. God bless you.

Posted by: Robert at December 1, 2004 06:02 AM