Sunday, December 11, 2011

      I feel good this morning. My last minutes of sleeping involved a visit from my Granddad in a dream. This is the first time I have seen him since he died in autumn of 2004, so it has been seven years almost exactly. Many things have changed around me since then, including relatives. His death separated my aunts and uncles from us even more than they already were. His estate was a big deal I guess I don’t know I had my own issues going on to really pay much attention to it all. All that I knew was that my rock, my Granddad had rolled off into the disappearing wherever, and now who would be there for me?
      I lived with my Granddad when I was twenty years old in Florida. I worked at a new store within walking distance. I saved some money, I ventured about walking up and down the miles of stores, or riding my bike to distant locations, getting lost sometimes. The bus system took a full circle out to the island. It would go down the causeway, which was always full of things to look at with the tan bodies unloading their boats and ski jets of all shapes and sizes. It then would go out to the island with either the families scurrying out of their cars with sixteen different floating devices and piles of towels and buckets and shade umbrellas, or of course the natives, the islanders, the people that I ended up knowing all too well eventually. The bus would take a turn back up towards the main land at Cortez and circle around back to the Kmart bus-stop close to Granddad’s house a total of an hour. I ended up getting a little apartment out there on the island across from the beach. I had a job as the only waitress in a pricey German restaurant beside my apartment. The owner’s name was Hans. Hans was the chef of many German dishes like Sauerbraten, and our menu was in the German language. The host was his boyfriend of a decade named Bob. He was sort of like my BFF because he was more feminine. We sat around every night after closing drinking a glass of the Varsteiner beer on tap, so rich. His son was the dishwasher, and then there was me, the little 21 year old waitress with a slim figure and bleach blonde hair all twisted with braids and ringlets for work in my tight fitting black and white skirts and shirts across the street from the sunset. We were only open from five to nine. It was a perfect set up. Once, Hans took all of us to the water park in his fancy car. Many people laughed at our group. I guess it was because of their bikini trunks? A group of teens kept calling us the Adams family. I did not care though because I was not insecure in that way. I still remember it though so it did leave an impression.
      While I lived with my Granddad we had many special moments. My Granddad loved my laugh, he constantly said I could do anything both with that laugh and with my intelligence that he praised me for often. He held the highest opinion of me of anyone that I have ever known, as to why I say that my rock was gone. Along with him leaving went my adoration, that lovely feeling that helped me get through life when I knew someone had the best of thoughts for my life… that was him.
       One day I took a bike ride out to the causeway and lay out to tan on my towel all afternoon and I fell asleep. It started to get late so I went back home to Granddad’s house, and we went to eat at Wendy’s at five as usual, and I took a quick nap after. That evening my Granddad and I watched TV and I felt a tickle on my head. My hair was down to my waist at that time and was all twirled up into a bun on top of my head. I thought that the tickle was one of the cats. I swished my arm up to shoo them away, but when I looked there was no cat. I sat up and out of my hair fell a little foot long skinny snake to the floor. Granddad got the cooking prongs from the kitchen and picked it up. He was so happy and I can still remember his excited little boy face as he headed to the bathroom with the snake to flush him. We laughed but I was at the same time so grossed out at the thought that it must have been nestled up in my hair all day from the causeway visit. That was a good moment, a memory with him that I treasure. I spent my twenty first birthday with him. We had cake and ice cream and watched the Pretty Woman movie that just came out.  My Nana was still alive then and sometimes we ganged up as women on my Granddad when he got too grumpy. She said to me it was just as easy to fall in love with a rich man as it was a poor one. I guess I did not follow that advice well. That is, if rich meant money.
       I left Florida and went back to my mother’s home. My father had left. I broke out in hives at the realization that I should have stayed in Florida. I slowly went through various unguided mistakes, one after the other till I found myself back in Florida some ten years later. My Nana had died, my Granddad was a bit older, but his eyes still sparkled at me when he seen me and he still loved my laugh. I called him when I had the nerve to leave my abusive husband and needed gas money as I sat and waited for him to arrive along side of the highway. He pulled up in his station wagon and we sat and I cried. He let me cry on the side of his shoulder as he hugged me. I told him about how leaving my abusive husband was hurting my feelings so much, but I did not tell him about the abuse. My Granddad said, “Friends don’t leave friends when times get tough.” If only it were that simple.
       I did end up leaving for good, but not at that time of course. I don’t hold that advice against him because he most certainly was not aware of the existence of the true nature of the abuse that was going on or he would not have said that to me I am sure. When we got the call that he was in the hospital and my dad was flying into town, we all went to the hospital. Granddad was propped up in a chair moaning and gritting his teeth. We had the nurses move him to the bed. He told my abusive husband to take good care of me. He knew he was going to die. I stayed to comfort Granddad. My abusive husband went home to, later I found out, smoke crack, the freak. Granddad went down a road of horrible pain that throughout we made direct strong eye contact with for 4-5 hours straight. I saw the fear in his eyes and I told him over and over that it was okay. They gave him morphine and he went to sleep until he finally died. I felt like he took part of me with him as I was the last person that he was looking at though all of those hours. It was so intense.
      I left my abusive husband within the following month. At the funeral service at my Granddad’s house he told me if you leave me I will kill you. I am not sure why he said that. I left him anyway. Actually the city employees took us away from him. It all worked out for the best.
       I have missed my Granddad’s supportive adoration over the years. It was like an extra protective barrier from society’s bumps that I went through. I have found that same love with Ricardo. He is always my rock. I can have a day of total turmoil and insecurities and I talk to Ricardo and he instantly calms me down with few words. Meeting him was my blessing as I have always said from day one. He has added to my life that extra security that someone in the world loves me unconditionally.
      I had this dream about Granddad this morning. I have not seen him since he died, so it was a bit of a pleasant surprise. I woke up in the early morning very depressed… very, very sad… then I went back to sleep. Maybe my Granddad knew that I needed him. In my dream he held me while I cried and I told him how sad I was and he comforted me with his words. When I woke up I felt better. I think he is still watching me, so now I feel better. It gets really hard to focus when you are sad. I do not have the luxury of time to be sad. My life is falling apart around me, so there is definitely a need for support even if only when I am sleeping.

1 comment:

  1. This post brought me to tears. I had a strong bond with my grampa also. He passed away when I was 13. I remember his last days so vividly even though it's been so long. I have always wondered what he'd say about my life, as it is today. Is he watching me? Your story gives me hope that he is. I hope you dream about him again, and I hope I dream about mine as well. What a comfort that would be.