Last night was fun and enjoyable playing games and watching a movie. Today however has been weird, strange and different. I felt knots in my stomach all day. When I woke up I never expected to embrace the kind of change that came my way. I found out my grandfather passed away. All day my thoughts have been jumbled with this rollercoaster past 24 hours. I think the part that I’ve struggled with most is the fact that I really didn’t know who he was. The last memory I have of him filled with personality was when I was younger, I’m not even sure how old I was. All I remember is sitting on my grandparents porch laughing in the glistening sun and waiting for my grandfather, my Zeyda, to make the next cool balloon animal.
Flash-forward to my bat mitzvah, age 13 and I know he was there and I even have pictures with him. Yet, I don’t remember anything in particular. The last visit with him was this past thanksgiving and he was quiet. Periodically he’d make a fuss and he often said, “i don’t know”. Its tragic how dementia runs its course and runs a humans life. G-d forbid any of us from having to go through that. Its sad how my grandfather couldn’t show the love I know he had for my grandmother.
I feel disappointed that I never really got to know him. I instead know the dementia side of him and that was frustrating and hard for all of us in the family to witness. I am glad to know he is out of pain and confusion and hopefully in a much better and more peaceful place. I hope he is bringing smiles and laughing to all the family I’m sure he’s meeting up with right now.
For now I think of my mom and how the struggle must be and how I’ll do anything to help her out. I think of how strong, loving and dedicated my grandmother is for having taken care of my grandfather for a little less than the past 10 years. I think of how wonderful and amazing she has been through the whole process and how determined and dedicated she was to him. It inspires me with the kind of love that she and my grandfather shared. It is only through love that I can see anyone being willing to dedicate or sacrifice their live for another. It is truly beautiful when I think about it; but, for now the knots in my stomach still remain. The loss of life, the disease that essentially took it and all of us, left behind.
Death isn’t fair nor does it come welcomed but it seems to show the circle of life. It seems to symbolize purpose. Meaning to live a life worth talking about. I signed up this afternoon to go backpacking through the mountains next weekend. I know that this will be my way to cherish my Zeyda. To fulfill something that he can’t but that I know he did with my mom. A story that I hope will always live on. Or about the fact that theres a photo of my brother with his Eagle Scout Award hanging on the wall. It all goes back to my grandfather. To when he was the scout leader for my uncle and how he was so passionate about it. These are stories and legacy that I hope live on through my siblings, cousins, me as well as all who knew him.
Today has been different and new, not in a good way but I have realized that its the start of learning how to embrace change. I pray that my grandfather rests in peace and helps G-d up in Heaven. I pray for my family especially my grandmother to be comforted and strengthened during this time. I’m thankful for the time I did share with my grandfather and for all the memories. I’m thankful for the man, husband and father he was and for the grandfather he has been for my cousins, siblings and myself, and for the impact he left behind that I hope will shine through all those he left behind.