Last night, for whatever reason, I went to sleep thinking about my Grandpaw. I think of him often. I live only feet away from Granny and share a yard with her. I think that's why I think of him often. We have taken possession over his garage that he would spend all his time in wood working, repairing things and sitting chewing his Mammoth Cave Twist. A few things are still in the garage just as he left them so suddenly almost 19 years ago. Fishing poles, cherry wood planks, supplies in his cabinets and his chair are just a few things I could never bare to move or throw away. Even a wooden roller that he used to roll up under cars and repair them is still out there tucked away. I don't know the correct term for this little repair roller thingie but I do know if I could find a way to fashionably hang it up on a wall in my house, I totally would. I adored that man. Probably more now then I ever.
My Grandpaw was rough around the edges. He smoked, chewed, cussed and pretty sure he drank on occasion since he was the best homemade wine maker this part of the county. He could make anything out of wood and did. He never hugged, complimented, went to church or laughed. He did however fuss and raise hell a lot. Maybe that's why I loved being in his presence as kid. I felt like I was breaking the law but no one could touch me because my Grandpaw would have slit their throat and asked questions......like......never. He was the exact polar opposite of Granny. Grandpaw was a ornery man!
He taught me to shoot, raise bull dogs, cuss, drive, swear and throw a good fit!! He also taught me to play cards, which Granny hated cause it was considered gambling. He made me wooden toys, that I still charish but, most importantly, he taught me to take no crap off no one. I didn't apply that lesson until recently in my life. I was the first little girl in his life. He only had one child, my Daddy, and was rather ornery raising him from bits and pieces I gather here and there. I am pretty sure I softened his soul.
He and Granny came from the generation that slept in separate beds. Granny waited on this man hand and foot and I never recall him ever saying thank you to her, holding her hand and sayinf he loved her. Granny was hospitalized once and I stayed with Grandpaw because he had no idea how to fix himself anything. Granny spoiled him rotten and I often wondered why because he was so rude to her.
The morning he died, I don't remember how I felt. He was healthy. He had quit smoking years before his death. He still mowed, drove, worked and cussed right up till he died so suddenly. Doctors say a aneurysm burst.
I don't recall much about the funeral, even though I was fourteen years old. I do remember right before they closed his casket Granny leaned over on him, hugged him, patted him, told him he was a good man, a good husband and she'd sure miss him. I learned then not to judge what I see on the outside in others relationships. It's not my place.
A few years ago Daddy was cutting down a tree in mine and Granny's front yard. He had climbed to the top of it and was holding to the tree one handed while manoeuvring a chainsaw with the other. It made me sick to my stomach to watch him do this. I went inside because I couldn't watch it. I was so scared he was going to fall with that chain saw. After a few minutes I peaked out the window to see if he had finished and was back on the ground. Off to the side, a man was standing watching Daddy as well. Not giving it a second thought I just knew it was my older brother, David, from the quick glance I took before I headed back out. When I walked over to Granny and asked her where David went, she replied that no one had been there. But I know better. I saw a man. Clear as day. At the time I assumed it was my brother but know now it was my Grandpaw. He was watching over Daddy while he was doing something so incredibly stupid. And I know he is watching over me and my boys still too. He would have LOVED these boys!!!! He does LOVE these boys. The thought of him watching these boys give me hell makes me giggle. Every now and then I feel a presence, turn to it, and shake my head. They are his grandkids in every sence of the word!