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.