2/15/2010

Miss you, Spring Chicken (Memory Lane #19)



This is my Grandfather, Garold Wilde Campbell. (My Gman is named in his honor.) He's had cancer for a few years, and not for the first time. Al and I went to go see him at New Year's and we were so fortunate that for those few days, his pain meds were in perfect unison & he was the Grandpa I'd always known...arguing with me about who should do the dishes, puttering around in his workshop and carrying in wood to keep a fire burning all day. He always refered to himself as a Spring Chicken. Before every shower, he'd state "I already had my annual bath, why do I need another," and after he'd state "I feel like a new woman." He's hilarious, and sweet, and quick to call "bullshit".....of course he could recognize it so quickly because he was the best at it.

He passed away last month, but it's just been too hard to sit down and write. He lived in Washington, near the coast. Every time I visited there, I felt it was the grayest place on earth. He was the ray of sunshine that place needed, for it was almost always overcast. The sun came out that afternoon just before he died. Just for him.

He was the last living grandparent I had. And even in those last 2 weeks, when the inevitable was inevitable, as long as he was alive, I felt like the world was somehow OK. And now, no longer having him or any grandparents left, even with an amazing family and plethora of friends, I fear a small part of my heart will always feel very alone.

7 comments:

Andrea said...

Paula, I am so sorry! to hear this! I am so glad that you and Al were able to make the trip in January and that you had such a good visit. I lost my last grandparent (my Memo) last year. We are both lucky that we had them in our lives for so long, don't you think?

Anonymous said...

I know your heart will always hold a special place for your grandparents. Grandpa Campbell did have a fun different humor. His humor has rubbed off to your Dad and to you and your brother. I know he loved you and was proud of you. I am happy you were able to share time with your Grandpa. Remember the fun times when your heart aches - "Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened." Dr. Seuss Mom

Ruthie Girl said...

Sounds like a man after my own sense of humor.

Sorry for your loss.

Ruthie Girl said...

Sounds like a man after my own sense of humor.

Sorry for your loss.

Linda J. said...

I am so happy you and Al had a nice visit with your grandfather and that you have treasured memories.

LoSpace said...

It's part of aging, but not a fun part. My grandparents lived long, full, and very healthy lives. Treasure your good memories of them. Sorry for your loss - my mom still quotes funny, unforgettable, off-color sayings from HER grandpa, so don't forget the best ones!

Anonymous said...

It is great to have the memories. It is great to have had along full life. It is great to have family around to love you. The loss of loved ones is never easy on the ones left behind but I truly believe he is in a better place. Love you, Aunt Rae