Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Updated: He tapped his foot along to Michael Jackson, but preferred Frank Sinatra

This is isn't the post I planned on writing today. This is a post I knew I'd have to write someday, but secretly hoped I'd somehow escape without writing it at all.

My grandfather passed away today. He was 91. He'd been in and out of the hospital for the last 3 months on the precipice of death but holding on.

My grandfather didn't show affection the way most people do. We had little in common and he didn't understand me at all. He didn't understand why I would major in something like Physics - didn't you know there was no MONEY is that?!

But the truth is we shared more similarities than either of us would like to admit.

He was horrified that I'd want to move away from my family and friends to far off places like Australia. Except he himself moved half a country away from his family. I've watched since I was a little girl my grandfather's anxiety and worry eat away at him, and now I watch it do the same to me. I watched him so stuck in his own paradigm that he was unable to imagine other ways of living, thinking, being and I see myself stuck in my own paradigm (a world away from his, but a paradigm all the same).

He held old fashion values that men (ie my brothers) should do well at business, make money, support their families. Women (that's me!) were to find a man. That's not to say he wasn't proud of my accomplishments - he was proud when I worked at the liquor store, that I was a working a girl.

When I was 24 and unmarried, my grandfather became concerned that I was never going to find a man. I was past my prime and no one would have me. So he came up with this ingenious but completely horrifying idea. He wanted to throw me a debutante ball - he'd invite all the Jewish Harvard Businesses men and Harvard Doctors and by hell or high water he'd find me man.

He became obsessed with the idea, which is pretty much the worst thing I could imagine for myself.

Lucky, I few months later I met Inspector Climate. All was well in the world, he was thrilled when we got married, that his grand daughter would now be taken care of forever. I'm so happy that in the last few years of his life I got to fulfill his greatest wish for me (well you know, even though Inspector Climate isn't Jewish nor a business man, and while he is becoming a Doctor - not quite the kind that my grandfather envisioned).

I'm not going to be able to go home for the funeral - tickets are about $5000 for such short notice, plus I'll be home in a month and a half - and in truth I feel very alone and very far away from the rest of my family.

Update! I skyped with my family today and my mom showed me her favourite picture of my grandfather and I when I was almost two. She told me he liked to carry me around and called me his "little popsicle" for reasons unknown. Excuse me while I go cry now.

36 comments:

  1. Sending you virtual hugs. It was the rare man of his generation who was progressive, so chalk up his "quaint" views to his times.

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  2. Oh no. I'm so sorry to hear that... :(

    Let me know if there's anything I can do. Am sending virtual hugs in the meantime xx

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  3. One of the worst parts of living so far away...I know your feelings of loneliness at times like this too well. So sorry for your loss.

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  4. My sincere condolences for your loss. I'm sure it must be very difficult for you being so far from your family at this time.

    Sending hugs, and hoping the next month and a half flies by.

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  5. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. He sounds like a very interesting man.

    I hope that you can find some solace through the support we can send you through the Internet.

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  6. My condolences for your loss, too..

    He sounded like a lovely man, in spite of the generation differences.

    Hugs.

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  7. I am so sorry for you loss! I know it is hard to be so far away from your family sometimes. Despite all the differences you can see how much your grandfather cared for you!

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  8. :( hugs!! i'm so sorry for your loss.

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  9. I am so sorry for your loss and am glad you have family in Inspector Climate during your far-away times.

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  10. I am so sorry for your loss but so glad you got to find peace.

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  11. D, I am so sorry to hear about your grandfather's passing. I know IC is taking great care of you.

    Thoughts, prayers, and hugs to you and your family.

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  12. Oh Deidre, I am so sorry to hear this sad news, my heart is breaking for you. Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful, old fashioned, classic family man, and I'm so happy for you that he was a part of your life. He obviously loved you a lot. It must be very hard for you to be away from your family right now, but I'm thankful that you'll be seeing them soon. Sending you hugs from around the world!

    Sarah @ Life As Always

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  13. Oh no! I am so so sorry for your loss. I'm sure it must be hard being so far away from your family at a time like this. Thinking and praying for you and your family!

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  14. I'm sorry about your loss, Deidre.

    This got me wondering, my grandfather died when I was 6, I wonder what he would say about how my life turned out and who I married?

    I'm glad that your grandfather lived so long and long enough to have had a positive effect on your life.

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  15. Oh honey, I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. Death hasn't touched me like this yet and I'm terrified what I'll do when it does. All my hugs and squeezes and love...

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  16. I'm so sorry about your loss. I can't imagine being so far away at a time like this *hugs*

    - Val @ KnotTiedDown.com

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  17. I'm sorry about your grandfather. It's hard to be away from family when there is a tragedy/sadness. I hope you get some time to grieve with your family soon.

    The story of the would-be debutante ball is great - while it obviously wasn't what you wanted, how wonderful that he cared so much about making sure you were taken care of :-)

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  18. I'm so sorry for your loss. I know it must be hard to be so far away from your family. I hope the time until you see them again passes quickly.

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  19. Hugs your way! I know this is hard. There is nothing I can say to make this better. I am here, though.

    Thinking of you!

    XO Lourdes

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  20. So sorry to hear about your Grandfather. I am not looking forward to facing that some day. Hugs to you.

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  21. Oh hon. So, soooo sorry. Please accept my deepest, sincerest condolences. Needless to say, if you need me to do anything, just holler at me, mmmkay? Hugs! xox

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  22. I am so sorry for your loss, my dear friend. I hope you find some comfort in talking to your family, even from a distance. Big big hugs to you!!

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  23. Oh Deidre, I'm so sorry to hear this news . . . even more so that you can't be there with your family!

    But I did love hearing about your grandfather . . . that he wanted to throw his "little Popsicle" a debutante ball is just too much . . .

    xoxo

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  24. I'm so sorry to hear about your grandfather. My grandparents share similar old-fashioned values and I used to get angry with them. Now, I try and remember that they won't always be there.

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  25. My heart goes out to you and your family Deidre. Big hug from the States!

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  26. Aw, thinking of you and so glad that you will be going home soon. You can celebrate him then. Love that your shared a little how your grandfather and how he was with you. :-)

    Jayme & Mendi @ Her Late Night Cravings

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  27. I am sorry for your loss- happy remembrances of your grandfather!

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  28. Oh my goodness my deepest and sincerest condolences for the loss of your grandfather Deidre. The bond with a grandparent is a special special thing.

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  29. I'm sorry for your loss sweetie. I hope that you're doing better! There is always a generation gap between grand parents, parents and children and at the end of it all they just want us to be happy... take the time to heal with your family... big big hugs!

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  30. This is one of the hardest moments in life. Know that if I could take some of your pain and sadness, I would in a heartbeat, and that our thoughts are with you and Mr. IC and your family.

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  31. Thinking of you during this time, I feel like I have very much escaped the reality of death in my 25 years that when it does hit ill have no idea how to cope. It sounds like your grandfather was quite the character - reminds me a little of mine but for all their crazy you can't help but love them!

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  32. So sorry to here about your grandfather, my heart goes out to you. Hugs.

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  33. So sorry I am late on this, but I am sending you hugs and prayers. I hope that you are doing better and I am happy that you'll be going home soon to see your family.

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