Hello again my friends. I wanted to get back into blogging about my everyday life again right away. But every time I tried to write about how I've been health wise I find that I can't avoid this. And what is the point of talking about my everyday life if I'm leaving out the most important things?
Last Monday, my jichan (grandfather) passed away. The particulars aren't...particularly important. He lived a long and very full life. He was a wonderful person. There isn't enough time in the world for me to say all I want to say about him. I said in my last post that we weren't an overly emotional as a family and I meant it, but he still managed to make me feel like I was loved in a way I understood. I have this really random memory from when I was a little kid (maybe 5 or 6?) and he was babysitting me and my sister. We were across the street playing when I suddenly got sick in the neighbors' driveway. In a second he was there...he must have been watching from the window. He carried me home and asked if I was okay. He took care of me. When my dad got home, the first thing he asked me was if I'd gone back over to clean up after myself at the neighbors' house. That's not to be down on my dad, because I know (now) that he cared and his brain just works differently. But I mean...when you're growing up and something so small as a request to clean your room can make you think your parents hate you - my jichan was someone who always loved me. For an overly emotional kid he was a safe haven.
There were no regrets with him either. Not a one. While a big speech about how much I love him would have just been weird for both of us, I hope I showed him. I tried my hardest on birthdays, fathers days and Christmases to make him presents from the heart. Whenever I could I would hand make his gift. For his 90th birthday I gave him an afghan that was...oh my gosh by far the most labor intensive (but nicest) thing I've ever made. It was little fish that all fit together to make a larger blanket, and I hope he loved it as much as I loved making it, and I hope he understood every silly and important emotion that I put into it. I really do think he knew, and I knew he loved me, and what else matters. I was so lucky to have been able to spend a bit of time with him the day before he passed. There was nothing I ever would have done differently.
But it's been really difficult. I spent a few days putting on a smile, because life went on - at least that's what it seemed like for everyone else. I didn't really get how life was going on, but it did. I found myself wanting to buy things. Mostly candy-related things...I can't tell you how much chocolate I had, cookies and candy. My love of candy came from him. As long as I could remember he kept hard candies in the ashtray of his car, and I remember always happily unwrapping one when I was lucky enough to be going someplace with him. The thing about life going on though is that it really doesn't make unpleasant things go away. You have to stop and deal with things and for me it was rough. Whenever it was just me and Husbandcake I was beyond a wreck. I never stopped eating. Not once. There was always more candy. There was always another box of Christmas cookies to be opened. I would eat while I was crying. I knew I was trying to eat away my sadness and even that didn't stop it.
Let's be clear - I wasn't the picture of healthy living before he passed. I had already been eating VERY poorly and not exercising at all. After his memorial service I took a deep breath and realized that it had to end. I couldn't eat my problems away, and I knew that I was going to have to get back to a sustainable life. And that's what I've spent the past couple of days doing. Coming to terms with not having any more grandparents. Coming to terms with someone so important to me being gone. Realizing that he was more important to me than I ever knew. Moving forward wanting to learn from all of his positive traits.
I know he wouldn't want me to wallow in a sugar filled pit of despair. There's no doubt of that. I went with a wonderful friend of mine last night and focused all of my unhappy feelings into this:
If you know me in real life you will know how out of character it was. I hate pain. I am not a tattoo type person. But even the day that he passed, I had this feeling that I wanted him to be with me always in some grand gesture type way. I am sure my parents will think I'm crazy (I don't think they quite believed I was actually going to do it), and quite a few of you will too. But it felt right to me and if anything was ever worthy of being immortalized even symbolically it was this. The fish is because he was a fisherman, he loved fishing and I hope he would have liked it.
I miss him. And after writing all that...sorry, I'm too drained to come up with anything more poignant :)