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[personal profile] nirvelli_lynn
I don't really have many memories of my grandfather. I have one of his home when he was in Michigan, so it was probably about when I was about 9 or 10. I know I went there at least for Christmas for many years. The house was nice but I never really knew what to do with myself. My grandfather and his wife Betty had two other children, who while very nice, were also very foreign. Betty was okay, and while I never really liked her, I didn't dislike her either.

My grandfather and Betty moved to Florida when I was around 10 or 11 to live in a golf/retirement community. I went to visit once before he died when I was 15. I only really have two memories of that trip. One was actually not of them but of a water color class I took at the club house. I still have that water color painting and it was then that I realized how much I loved water colors. Perhaps I've kept that painting because it was also a memory, a connection, to that trip. The second memory is actually when we went to the store and while in the car, Betty got a little pert with me because I didn't say thank you and my grandfather defended me. I realized then how much of gentle soul he was, and I think that was when I started to actually like him. The reason I think that moment hit me so hard was because Betty was right. Being about 13, I was a typical adolecent struggling to be more independant. At that time I was really struggling to say "thank you" to people because that meant that they had done something for me; it showed that I had depended on that person. It was ironically not Betty who made me realize that saying thank you was not a weakness, but rather my grandfather's defense of me. I think he knew... and that was the beauty of that moment as I think he understood a lot more than I realized.

That was the last time I saw him.

My grandfather wasn't a great man. He did a lot of things that were not so great. But I think he tried. When he died, that part of the family became foreign. It still is. I think we are all foreign to eachother in fact. I think for me, he was part of the glue that drew me to that family. A few years ago Betty died. She had moved back to Michigan to be closer to her kids and grandchildren. Over the years I have become more and more distant. When it comes to going to family events, only my dad makes an effort. They invite him, but I know that he's the one who always calls them. And I realize, that while it's a lot of effort, to an extent, I understand why he still goes. It's a family that he never really had. For him, it's a connection to his father... a father he always wanted.

If nothing else, I can say that my father is a good man. Like his father, he tries. But he also did a lot better than his own father. My dad has been there for me. I came out to him before I even did my mom and have always been able to talk to him about anything really... Even though in fact, we don't talk much. But he knows. He knows I love him. He knows I appreciate him. And he knows, that I know, that if I ever need anything, he will do what he can to make it happen. If my dad's goal in raising me was to better than those who had held that role in his life, he not only excelled, he was a rock star.     
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nirvelli_lynn

September 2012

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