Thursday, July 31, 2014

While I Wait

While I wait for you to go,
I think of the metal glider on your porch where we would spend time swaying back and forth,
while singing along to the songs you played on your ukulele.
I think of your incredible ability to whistle any tune perfect-pitch. Even now.
I think of sneaking out into the kitchen at 6 AM so that I could share coffee and laughs with you before you would go to work, while Gran still slept in your bed.
I think of the Yo-Yo balls that you got us before they were even on the shelf.
I think of the Red, White, and Blue jellybeans you brought us, and how they were the best ever.
I think of packs of Bubble Yum bubblegum that you always brought us, and how you taught me to blow a bubble.
I think of you listening to me play the piano and recording it, all the while encouraging me in my playing.
I think of how you somehow managed to tie a rope swing up on a branch that was so high up I couldn't figure out how you did it, so that we could have fun out back.
I think of your ability to make plants thrive- gardenias, hibiscus,
I think of watching you at the age of 70 race up the street on a bicycle you built from scraps. The freedom you felt on those 2 wheels.
I think of how excited I was to receive a custom-made, custom-painted, and personalized first bike from you in the exact color I wanted.
I think of you playing the guitar in my living room with my dad, as you two sang sad country songs or old gospel hymns.
I think of the many stories you would tell us, including how your sisters ground off the tip of your finger in the meat grinder when you were little, making your fingertip a little rounded nub.
I think of all the times you helped fix anything and everything around our house. You always had just the right tools.
I think of playing cards- Kings in the Corner, Rummy, Uno, Rook, or even Old Maid. You always played with us and taught us new games.
I think of the time you snuck your big rig down our neighborhood street, so that you could see us in the middle of your day and we could see what it was like in that big cab.
I think of all of your Cadillacs and the way we would turn the emblem as you left the driveway as a prank, and you would honk your musical air horn at us.
I think of silly-looking gnomes with fuzzy hair hanging from your rear-view mirror in your truck that Gran wanted you to get rid of, but you refused to sell.
I think of trips to get ice cream and to visit your family and friends that you wanted to show us off to.
I think of the first time you held my firstborn- just a day old he was, and how you loved him at that moment.
I think of the countless hours you would rock, dance, hold, and sing to my sons to get them to sleep during nap time visits.
I think of hours of watching trains go by, because you knew that's what the boys loved.
I think of how you became the best PaPa ever to my sons, even learning to play video games on the Play Station just to be with them.

While I wait for you to go,
I think of the first time I saw you after Gran left this Earth. The sadness in your eyes as tears welled in them and you told of how you tried so hard to save her that night.
I think of how we lost you, too, in a sense. You couldn't bear to be around as much, it was too painful, you said.
I think of how I came home from work and found an unexpected flower- a gardenia from your tree- on my porch and I knew it was your way of saying you still loved me.
I think of when your mind started to fail you and how we were told you may not know us, but how excited we were that you did.
I think of the first time I sat with you and you didn't know me. You knew we knew you somehow, but to make the connections was just too hard for your mind. Even so, we saw parts of you that we recognized.
I think of you, the only PaPa/Grandfather that I ever got to know,and I thank you for always being the best you could be! I will love you, Forever!

Tonight they said it won't be long now.

While I wait for you to go,

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