My Grandpa

483547_658642832873_1609952441_nIf you are a close family or friend, or you are a close enough acquaintance to be a Facebook friend, you know what has been going on with my grandfather the last few days. I realize now the beauty of the social network – in just the ease of a series of posts from my cellphone, family and friends who knew my grandpa were a part of the most special of his last days on earth. There were many people who emailed me and asked that I continually update, and for that I am grateful that we live in a time of access and information that this was easy to do.

My grandpa was a Nebraskan turned Illinoisan, gone Arizonan, and in the end a Californian to the very core (in a good way though). He was a swimming champion. He was a veteran. He was a teacher. He was a regular at Bob’s Big Boy for their bacon cheeseburgers and chocolate milkshakes.

Most importantly, he was my grandpa.

Like a lot of grandparents do, my grandpa took on a fatherly role towards me. This is just what grandparents did at the time (many still do now, although many are also more removed than my grandpa was). When I was born, he was so proud to finally have a granddaughter that the school in which he taught raised a sign in the break room – “Bob finally has a granddaughter!!” He bought the entire school donuts.

And I will never forget the camping trip when grandpa’s trailer got stuck on a hill and he screamed and swore, while I panicked and thought we would be stranded in the woods. I was eight. We ended up staying in a hotel and the next day Grandpa and Grandma took me to plant a tree at the front of the lot.

On December 10th, my grandpa fell. There have been a lot of ups and downs with his health in recent years, but this fall was different. It was as if he and grandma knew he couldn’t come back this time. The days wore on and grandpa was in so much pain, he grew weaker and weaker until he developed pneumonia. On Sunday, they said the time had come to accept and support him, and to place him in hospice.

534845_658578287223_148570237_nMonday I was planning to see them but Grandma had a little cough and was worried about making Grandpa sicker. Within hours, though, I was phoned and told I needed to get over to the hospice center because Grandpa had only days left to live. I spent quite a bit of time with them there Monday, then Tuesday woke up and decided that we had to be there for my Grandma. Her strength is my strength and I knew she needed me.

Tuesday was long. We had to get my mother from the airport. My husband had to come home early. We had to transfer from babysitter to babysitter. And at the in-room services they held for my grandpa, quite a few moments came when my grandmother and I embraced and just reminded each other how strong she is, and how beautiful her life with Grandpa was.

Before I left Monday and Tuesday, I talked to Grandpa and he mumbled – both times. I have never known extreme gratitude for a single moment in time until those beautiful mumbles from my eternally sweet grandpa acknowledged that he knew I was there.

This morning at 5:30, my mother called to say that Grandpa had passed. My Grandmother is the only of my grandparents now to survive, my grandmother and grandfather on the other side having passed when I was in high school.

In all of these years, my grandma has been the one person to calm me down and give me hope. As I said, she is my strength in every sense of the term. When I was little, she would rub my back or draw tiny circles on my face and sing to me. Over the last few days, she did this again. When I spoke with her this morning on the phone, she said she is here with me in her heart, sitting in my bed and rubbing my back again. And while I know that I will see her more in the coming days, her song this morning is particularly beautiful. My grandpa was such a lucky guy.

May my eternally sweet, consistently compassionate, grandpa rest in peace.


MWF Seeking New TTF

I wanted to do SWF, because that would sound more like that creepy Single White Female-movie with Jodie Foster correction: Bridget Fonda and Jennifer Jason Leigh (you are so right, Jeremy … I have no clue about movies). But then my husband would get upset and/or confused; and my mother in law would call. We would have massive levels of family drama and the gossip train would continue on down the rail line.

You know the drill.

So I stuck with MWF – Married White Female. I always look for MWF in the personal ads to see if anyone ever actually puts an ad in the personals when they are married. What would they look for? Friends? That’s sort of sad if you put out a personal ad for friends. I’m sorry if I just offended any of you faithful blog followers, I just think there would be better places to find friends – for example. I always thought that if anyone that was an MWF or an MWM or even an MBF, MBM, or any other designation starting with the Married, chose to put out a personal ad, they were looking for something kinky.

Kinky. Dirty. And nothing we want anything to do with.

So now that I’ve digressed for way more than I should have, let’s get to the point. I’m an MWF Seeking a New TTF. What’s a TTF you ask?

Trailer. Trash. Family.

Reason #1

My mom is the trailer park queen. She never used to be this way. No, she used to be normal. Pinafores and frocks and cookies at Christmas and shit. Then something snapped in her brain and she started digging at the bottom of the barrel for love, and other assorted frills.

We’ve discussed all of this before.

As a result of her being a trailer park queen, she inserts as much bullshit drama into every single moment of life as she can possibly manage. The most recent was that her hillbilly husband had skin cancer then he didn’t then he did then he didn’t then he was going to start chemo, now he doesn’t again. What’s the fucking truth?

Now she says she has some spinal problem that is going to require surgery before the end of the year. It all sort of came out of nowhere, and I’ll see her walking normally until she sees someone is watching her, then the acting and dramatics come out. She told me recently too that I haven’t a clue what back pain is like.

Have I mentioned I had spinal fusion for scoliosis when I was only 13? That was a 14 hour operation.

Reason #2

Over the years, my mom has poisoned her family members’ minds to believe that I am some awful person that lies all the time. It’s almost as if she is projecting her own issues onto me to them to create some weird, fucked up family drama.

When I was living with my boyfriend and he beat the shit out of me (and you faithful blog followers know I do not exaggerate – he beat the living shit out of me), my mom got upset because she loved him so much. So she told her whole family that I made the whole thing up and that he was just such a nice guy.

A couple years ago, we had a birthday party for Pookie and no one from my mom’s family came to it. She didn’t either, which was kind of messed up; but it was only later that I learned that the reason for this is that she hadn’t communicated it to anyone as she said she would. They hosted their own party – hours away, near my aunt’s house – and didn’t invite me or my husband. When we didn’t show (obviously, because we thought it was just a grandma day playdate), she told everyone that we were bad parents and just didn’t have the time to be bothered.

Sadly, those dumbasses are just as bad as her; so they buy into all of it. When I’ve talked to them about it, they’ve told me they have “allegiance” to my trailer trash mom. Nonetheless, I have continued to attempt to extend the olive branch. It’s hard living here and having no family of my own except my dad.

Well the olive branch can extend no more, after I got this comment this morning from my cousin, whose wife had already RSVP’d a simple “no” to my kid’s birthday party. (I should mention we have driven down to every one of their little bastard kid’s parties for as many years as I can remember):

“Maybe if you would show up once in a while for family events, we’d show up for yours.”

You don’t say? I seem to remember I just went to your ugly ass kid’s birthday party over two hours away just last month.

In Conclusion

Hillbillies are way overrated. For some reason they’re really into fightin’ and shootin’ and gossipin’ and lyin’ and trailer parkin’ and I’m just not really into that shit. If you are, cool. If you like to four-by, post videos of yourself on the toilet on YouTube, screw your sister, and other assorted things only the most hillbilly of all mountain williams do, far be it for me to stop your fun.

I really wanted to try and nurture this stupid relationship for the sake of being able to continue to see my grandparents, but then sometimes they act just as bad and nasty. I’m not sure what I’ll do about them, but in the meantime it seems that my trailer trash mom and her fucked up family have complete control over grandma and grandpa anyway at this point.

So I guess really it isn’t MWF seeking new TTF. Because the trailer trash part of that is a little much at this point. It’s MWF seeking new F. The F is for Family. Or maybe, because I do have a family, just thousands of miles away, it’s really MWF says FTTTS. The FT is for Fuck That Trailer Trash Shit.