It was 5 years ago this week that my best friend, and grandfather, passed away. I’ve sat in front of the computer screen for a few days now, the official anniversary being Monday, and I find that it’s still very hard to find things to say. After 5 years I’m still at a loss for words and struggle to find ways to make it all seem real. I know that he’s gone, it’s hard to ignore, but my grandfathers influence lives with me every single day.
There isn’t a day that goes by where I don’t think about my grandfather but I can say that it’s not simply thinking about him that I do. I spend a fair amount of time going through my head and remembering the many valuable lessons he taught me in his own unique ways. Sometimes I think about the 1999 MLB All Star Game at Fenway Park where on TV’s around the country, we saw an image of Ted Williams talking to Nomar Garciaparra. IN that conversation Teddy Ball Game talks about the ball hitting off the bat and being able to smell the pine tar. I guess why that moment sticks in my head is that I see my grandfather as my Ted Williams and I was his Nomar. Coincidentally he had a real love for baseball himself, having been a Babe Ruth coach for many years.. even having gone to the Babe Ruth World Series.
I think everyone who reads this blog can attest to the fact that we all have very personal relationships with our grandparents. The relationship you have with your grandfather might be different then the relationship your mother or sister/brother might have with him. Along with this comes a collection of memories, sayings, teachings and at times even secrets that are your very own. I say this because as I reflect back on the life I had with my grandfather, I can’t help but smile. I smile because I remember how honest he was with me and the many things he told me over the years. Not just the lessons, but the opinions, his thoughts.. his feelings. I always knew how he felt and what he thought without hesitation. He and I shared everything together. I told my grandfather things that to this day I’ll never tell anybody else. And I know, he told me things that he never meant for anyone else to hear as well.
Of everyone in my family, I spent the most time with my grandfather. We were best friends and much of our time together was very intimate in that I was his care-taker for many years. I still have a lot of bitter feelings deep down in my gut about some of my extended family.. how they live in the shadows of the lies they told about their care for my grandfather. Care I, and they, know they never did. Care they told others they did do just so they could reap the benefits of monetary appreciation of which I call “Kiss-Ass Money.” I think about these instances often and they make me sick to my damn stomach.
As I’ve begun to write off and distance myself from those cold hearted liars in my family, I think about the thoughts about them that my grandfather shared with me in the days and few weeks before his passing. I smile… I SMILE A LOT.. when I think of the things he told me. His thoughts, his feelings. He knew the truth and he appreciated what mattered most. With his trade mark smile, wink and nod… I smile brightly knowing I can carry those secrets with me for the rest of my life. Knowing that the one person in my family who knew the work I did, the care I provided and the connection we had… he knew, still knows, and I cannot wait to see him again… is the best feeling in the world. So while I am somber this week, missing my best friend as I always do. Even more angry at family now then I ever have been… I remember Moe. The times we had, the memories we shared. Our own personal history and stories. I remember what mattered most to him. I remember how he appreciated me and was always quick to tell me. And I remember.. his honesty.. and how quick he was to share that as well. That last piece of Pizza… ha… yeah, I’ll never forget what he told me later about why he shared 75% of it with me.
I love you Moe.. and I miss you.
(I.K. HHY. AITE. HTMHWYHSH) Love ya pal!