Ugh. Some days no matter what you do, things just won’t go your way. One thing can throw you off or get under your skin and then suddenly you’re sobbing for every bad thing that ever happened to you.
That was me this morning, Wasting perfectly good make-up on something (and someone) insignificant but also significant enough to (almost) mess up my day. At times like this I feel it’s good to just embrace the misery. Give it time to be what it is: an outlet.
So what if I want to sob uglyly (a word?) until there’s nothing left? So what if it leads me to remember all the heartbreaks I’ve ever suffered, every rejection, every fear? Dead pets too, why not?
Crying can be cathartic and sometimes so is sadness. It reminds us we’re human and that we care about life and people and ourselves. I am still sensitive after all these years and I’m glad because sensitivity helps me connect to others.
I won’t let it drag me down for long (I’ll fight my depression to the bitter end) but I also think it’s okay to feel your feelings. It passes, so far it always has. As soon as a colleague makes a stupid joke or someone puts a heart shaped Post-It on your desk, it’s gone. Until next time.
Just as I was weaning myself off liquid centered throat sweets (cherry, natch), I caught another cold and this one’s a doozy. I feel like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man has taken up twerking in my brain.
I’ve had a shower, I’ve watched a film Mr B would hate whilst shoveling Chocolate Orange segments into my face (he’s gone bowling). I have tea; and I’ve talked to my mum on the phone.
I’ve done all my comfort bits and even though my eyes and nose are still leaking, I feel okay.
My grandfather passed away last weekend. It was to be expected for a 98 and a half-year old but the truth about life is that you are never that prepared. Expecting things to come almost adds a new level of panic to the event when it does arrive, like you’ve had too much time to think about how you will feel and how you will react.
We’re all pretty sad. I’m sadder than I thought I would be. He’s been such a huge part of all our lives forever, in good and bad ways. And now he’s gone and that’s a big thing. I’ve talked about him before. I was truthful but not very kind.
And now he’s gone, it doesn’t feel that good. It’s sad. Sad for him, mostly.
When people die it’s normal to think hard about your own mortality. This makes me think about my legacy. Who will I be when I’m old? Will I still be a decent person? Will I be missed?
I hope nobody says I am better off gone. I hope when I do toddle off this mortal coil people will at least say that I was funny. Or sweet.
Nice is a bit boring, but if that’s what my legacy is destined to be then so be it. I can live with nice.
But don’t think I’m sitting home crying into my comforter. Well, I am crying into my comforter but it’s because of my cold, not sorrow.
You know that old adage, “He’s a bastard, but he’s our bastard”? (To paraphrase the original quote by Frankin D. Roosevelt, made in reference to his Secretary of State).
Bastard is a little strong but I’m being kind when I say he is a difficult man. It’s not like he’s pure evil or anything like that, it’s just he’s so… Gramps.
Growing up there was no closeness. In fact, I found out quite recently that when we moved to England from Canada, my mother was given strict instructions to only bring us grandkids over once a week on a Sunday, for no longer that 20 minutes at a time. Charming, eh? Considering we were so bloody adorable!
This sort of sums up the rest of our relationship with the old timer, though I have some funny memories. When you get to a certain point in life, even the tragic things start to become amusing.
I’m going to say here that these are my thoughts on my grandfather. I could wax lyrical about the ways in which he has hurt his children and how I will always hate him a little bit for that, but that’s not what this post is about, not now.
Gramps is 98. A year or so ago he was finally confused enough to be moved into a care home. He now resides in the care home where I held my first job, aged 13. My old boss, who sacked me for letting another carer pierce my ear at the end of a shift, is still there. Thankfully, she doesn’t recognise me.
She refers to Mum as “Child”.
Gramps loves it. As a young man living and working in India back in the day, he had a household staff and, as he delights in telling anyone he can pin down for long enough, he didn’t even need to dress himself then. He would have two servants to dress him and another to press a glass of whiskey on the rocks into his hand.
As my brother and I reached work age and became more independent, it became apparent that our grandfather (Cyril) had no interest in what a girl could do. While Nana secretly cheered me on from the sidelines (more that I realised at the time), Gramps assumed I’d marry and it wouldn’t matter much what I did anyway. Tim was the Golden Boy with the Bright Future Ahead.
As a former bank manager, Cyril is delighted Tim ended up in Futures. My brother, and our cousin, Ricky are the favourites. They earn money y’all and are men. Sadly, my Grandfather measures success in monetary terms while my family; Mum, Tim and I measure it in experience, love; richness.
Surprisingly, I once had a job working for a purveyor of filth in my hometown. We sold adult material basically and my mother was horrified. Wishing to shock him, I told Gramps what I did (it was an admin role, relax!) and he was actually supportive. He even went away and researched the company, coming back to say that he was impressed with their profit margins (or something).
My happiest memory is of my grandfather taking us for long walks after Christmas lunch every year. Each of us four grandchildren were allowed to choose a walking stick and take it with us. All these beautiful walking sticks, with carved heads like ducks and stags. I loved that the best about Christmas, I don’t think I’ve ever told anyone.
When I brought my husband around for the first time to meet Gramps, he walked straight past him and barely mumbled hello. He never explained his behaviour to me but later he told Mum it was because he didn’t like us and we lived in sin.
Who says that about their granddaughter? (We’re not a religious family at all).
Still, Gramps liked my demon ex and I think this an important thing to note. He liked him because he has ‘a strong handshake’. Fabulous judge of character, Grampy, well done.
Over the years I have lost touch with my grandfather, through living away from the UK or just not bothering to see him. I’ve seen him a few times in the home and he barely knows who I am. I can safely say that I have never felt any love emanating from him, for myself or anybody else.
But he’s my grandfather and I love him. I don’t care if he can’t love me back. I’m a better person than he is, so are we all.
This post is actually quite emotional to write now that I’ve started, it was supposed to be more tongue in cheek. I’ve talked myself into feeling bad for him; that he’ll never know the utter joy we could have brought to his life. That when he’s gone we will say things like “He was our bastard though” and we’ll get on with our lives. I will watch my mother be very sad but she will be the only one, I think.
That’s not a successful life, Gramps. Sorry old boy.