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Happy Veterans Day

11 November 2007

So I came out to see Grandpa’s grave. I haven’t been out here since July. In honor of Grandpa I brought McDonald’s. I’m also typing on my laptop. Surely this isn’t anything Woodrow Wilson would’ve imagined for Armistice Day in 1918 (that’s right, I’ve done research).

So I’m eating my double cheeseburger and fries, and feeling like I don’t think I’m making too melodramatic a statement… Sitting here just feels final and empty. I regret not taking McDonald’s to him on more Sunday afternoons when I could have. All those days wasted with the things you think are important in college (Homework. Boyfriends. Ha.) It feels so grown-up to be having this kind of regret.
Like every other adult who’s lost a grandparent.
Like mom always told me I’d be.

And I appreciated grandpa while he was here. I loved him, and his stories, and I KNEW (I suppose I should be grateful for this) I knew that he was something special while he was here. I didn’t have to wait until after he was gone to go “man, he was hilarious and wise and seasoned and experienced in ways that no other generation can or will be again”. I knew that. But I still took it for granted.

Like we all can do with people that mean the most to us.
(Man! This is just a day for cheesy blog clichés, isn’t it?)

I’m a Christmas season McDonald’s commercial, here at my grandpa’s grave, crying over my Double-cheese.

Maybe here’s yet another adult life lesson: in situations like this you get to choose whether you feel regret for all the ways you let the relationship down, or you can feel grateful for all the wonderful things that came from getting to have it at all. At this point I can’t change anything about my time with grandpa. And I think it’s better for me, and better in general (if we want to talk in a broad, life-energy, positive/negative spectrum of the universe sense) to send gratitude into the world in this moment. To let myself send love to Grandpa, wherever he is…besides below me and this darker green patch of grass, covered in dry leaves and runaway silk flowers. To allow myself to feel love, in that mystical way in which you still can, even after a grandparent is gone.
The love still exists, somehow. And it is endless. So I think I’ll take the pangs of loss and the stings of regret, knowing that the love is bigger.

Hm. So in order to love, you have to also accept loss and regret and mistakes and flaws and vulnerability and pain and all those things I would love just as much to protect myself from with all my energy and effort.

Hm.

Ok well maybe it’s time to let myself be here without words.

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