Wednesday, November 5, 2008

The Rest of the Story

It's been two years now since my Grandad died. It was in fact, the second Wednesday of November, so it's almost two years to the very day. I hadn't really been thinking much about it. But last night on my way home, as I was traversing the park I heard someone's car radio. They were listening to Paul Harvey. Paul Harvey had a radio show called "The Rest of the Story" (and I believe he STILL does, even though he is 90 years old). He had such a wonderful, gentle, soothing speaking voice and I loved the heartwarming stories that he shared with his listeners. Oh my gosh, the nostalgia I felt! I hadn't heard Paul Harvey for a long time!

My grandad used to listen to Paul Harvey every single day. His segments were usually about someone well-known, but the stories he shared weren't well known stories. Harvey's radio show would often start with "You know the news, and in a minute you'll hear the rest of the story..." Grandad had an old radio next to the kitchen table with a rabbit ear antennae. My Grandad kept a folded papertowel at his spot at the kitchen table. The papertowel always had a trace of brown mustard because Grandad would put the knife he used on the papertowel so that it wouldn't dirty my Grandma's tablecloth. We never were allowed to put garbage in the trashcan, because it smelled. Instead we put it in this thing my grandad had called the "trash masher". Like Grandfather like Granddaughter...I have a quirk about trash piling up and I am constantly taking out the garbage even when it's not full. Grandad sat in a worn green leather chair which was ripped and held together with duct tape. Grandad knew how to fix anything and he owned a machine shop for many many years. He was an expert welder. He also had a loom and made beautiful rugs. I have one of his rugs next to my bed now.

My grandad had a poodle named Mitzi. Mitzi used to lay at my grandad's feet at night. One night he felt Mitzi's warm body lying on his foot as he sat in his chair and watched television. But out of the corner of his eye he saw Mitzi walking clear on the other side of the room. He still felt her warm body on his foot. He looked down and realized Mitzi had thrown up on his foot! We all had a good laugh about that!

Grandad had a shirt that he wore in his machine shop. When my brother was little he called it "Grandad's doity shoit" because it always was full of grease from my grandad's long hours of manual labor in the shop. (It took Scott awhile to pronounce his "R"s).

This is my Grandad in his doity shoit:

I was not there, but I remember what my mom told me the night before my Grandad died. My mom had been sitting with him in the hospital and he asked her to turn on "Dancing with the Stars". He had fallen asleep and my mom told him "Dad, you're asleep. I'm going home, but I'll leave your show on. I'll see you in the morning."

I flew to Ohio for the funeral on a Friday. A week later I flew to Maui to visit my brother and sister-in-law and celebrate their marriage, a bittersweet visit. I spent our days at the beach crying on the phone with my Grandma. I could barely swallow the fish tacos that Sarah and I had bought. We had a wonderful time, but what a sad undertone.

I am so choked up I can barely breathe. Pull it together, Toots. Pull it together. I have happy memories about Grandad and one could say I have a cheerful demeanor. But today I weep.

And that my friends is "the rest of the story"......


Dara said...

You have such beautiful memories of your're a really lucky lady...

mommyofthree said...

What poignant memories of your grandfather and growing up in your family. You certainly have a very soulful way of expressing the emotions of losing a loved one, but are able to allow their memories to live on through your prose. Very nice writing! I enjoy every entry of yours...looking forward to many more posts about your exciting life and travels!