My grandfather died yesterday.
It wasn’t a huge shock, I suppose, only because I didn’t have any knowledge of how he had been doing since my grandmother died. Her death caused a schism to form in my family; my Aunt took charge when it happened, dividing up the items left in the will and deciding how things would be run. My mother resented her for it, and my family found itself on opposite sides of a battle line. That conflict still persists to this day.
My immediate family stopped having much to do with my grandfather after my grandmother’s death. He was helpless without her, and the “other” side supported him – so we didn’t interact with him at all. I don’t know that we even exchanged Christmas cards or anything of the sort. I certainly thought of him, and thought about going to visit him from time to time – but, fearing the ostracization that I would receive if my immediate family found out about my crossing the lines, I didn’t. Now he is dead and I will never again have the chance to speak with him.
We didn’t talk much prior to my grandmother’s death. He was a simple man – a lifelong cattle farmer. I never knew too much about his business, other than the fact that he would raise cattle and then drive them to a wide variety of places. He had a very deep voice, and tended to mumble when he talked, making him hard to understand. He was, as other people put it, a true “country boy”. Even though he wasn’t a part of my life for a long time, I’ll still miss him.
In light of that, today I decided not to attend the regular gaming event in Richmond. I woke up this morning and, after thinking about it, decided that I would rather spend Father’s Day with my family. It… hasn’t gotten off to a good start.
Apparently my father woke up early this morning to get some mowing done. At some point he was driving the mower behind one of their vehicles, and it kicked up a rock and broke the window of my niece’s car. My mother was, and is, furious about it. When I arrived, she took that opportunity to corner me and spent the next half-hour telling me about all the problems she’s seen with him, and how he’s “getting worse and worse”. This is a no-win situation. I don’t want to listen to it, but presenting any kind of differing opinion or trying to argue against her only causes her to get more upset and direct it at you. I tried to tune her out and stare at the ever-present glow of the television while she talked, but I couldn’t.
My parents are old. My grandfather was 85; they aren’t much younger than that. I fear that soon, I will be handling the inevitable task of dealing with more loss. I am truly not sure how I will handle it. There will be so much to process, so much to do – more than I will likely be able to handle myself. But with two siblings who are vastly unreliable, I won’t have any choice in it.
Need to try to put this out of my head for now and focus on enjoying the day.