***This post is a total debbie downer....It is mainly a way for me to get things out of my system....read at your own "risk"***
You know how you can love someone but not really like them at all?
I feel totally guilty for saying that about my own grandfather. But, it is true and I need to express these feelings, which I do best in writing, to get them off of my chest.
My grandfather passed away in November, the week of Thanksgiving. It has just hit me. It only took 9 1/2 months, but those feelings have finally crept up. Up until now I have refused to think about it, refused to mourn, refused to cry. That is how I deal with things, and unfortunately, it is not very effective or healthy. The last few days I have been on the brink of tears and didn't know why. Then, on the way to church yesterday morning, I busted out crying. It totally took Ross off guard, poor guy!
How I loved him:
On one hand, he was my grandfather. I have some good memories of him when I was a child. He was happier then, not as bitter. He loved to dance and have a good time. He loved my Mamaw....his, "little mama." There was a tire swing in his yard and we all loved to play in it. I loved him, I really did...but it was hard. He loved to tell jokes and draw comics...cute little one liners with stick people drawings. He was really funny! We would send these back and forth and after he died I found out that he had been saving all of them! He loved his family. He adored his grandchildren. It just got very hard to see toward the end.
How I didn't really like him at all:
The title of this post is "Conflicted" because that is just what I am. Papaw, my mom's father, was not a nice man. He was, among other things, an alcoholic. He was mean to my mother and did not provide a nurturing home life. He made fun of her weight when she was a child and now (um..have you seen my mom? she is and always has been skinny), he was bitter, he was angry, he was impossible to please. He was not happy. If you wanted to call or visit him, you would have to mentally prepare yourself...you would have to put on a mental suit of armor, if you will. You would know, ok--I'm going to call Papaw, and no matter what, he is going to make me feel like crap. For example, I sent him a little care package when he was in the assisted living place. He complained about what was in it. Well, do you think I sent him stuff again? Nope. I was too hurt! It was stuff like that constantly. You only have so much you can give, ya know? The list goes on and on, but I feel too bad talking about him in this way.
So....I have a weird mix of feelings. I miss him...I miss the good parts about him. He was, after all, my grandfather. There are very few people that you know your entire life, so of course there is a hole that is created when they pass. On the other hand, he can not hurt my mother anymore. He can not call her to b**** at her, to make her feel useless and guilty. He can not be mean. Still, those memories are what prevails in my mind. It was easier for me to think of negative memories than the positive. Man, I hope that's not what people say when I am gone. Over all....I'm a bundle of mixed up feelings. Feelings I feel bad to express, but feelings that have shaped my family and ones that I need to sort through.
This is a picture of him dancing with me at our wedding. It is a great memory. He had a blast that night. I'm pretty sure that was the most fun he had toward the end of his life. He danced with all of my cousins, aunts and friends. He was a great dancer. He laughed, cut up and enjoyed himself. This is the memory that I am going to put at the forefront of my mind...to meditate on this to help ease the conflict of feelings.