Being older when I had my twins, I was 42 when they were born 10 years ago, it was almost certain they wouldn't have many Grandparents to be raised with. What was so fascinating was that they actually had my Father, his Mother, my Step Mom's Mother, and my partner's Mother up until a few weeks ago! My dad was the last to go.
My Dad was not the guy who was all gushy and sweet. He was the rough and tumble, joke telling man who always went for the funny bone. As you can imagine, my boys loved him. Ben and Daniel looked forward to the weekend excursions to Grandpas-we would drive 1 1/2 hours to meet him in a Walmart store where he would wait patiently, sometimes for three hours, calling my cell phone every 30 minutes to ask, "when will you be here"-lol
As soon as he saw us his face would light up with the anticipation of sharing a story with the boys and/or telling a few raunchy jokes. Of course he also got excited because my visit meant he could go out to dinner at a restaurant and enjoy a family meal. The boys always tried to pry "top secret" information about me from him to be able to use against me when we went back home. One time they told me that he would tell them how I had been late to school or failed to do something I was instructed to do as a child, Boy did they love to hear how their Mom was less than perfect!
Dad was a tall, handsome man with dark curly hair and steel blue eyes. He was given the name Sheldon by his Mom but we called him Dad, Daddy, Grandpa, and Joe(his wife called him that). As a child my Brother and I called him Shelley, Jelly Belly which he loved. What I wouldn't give to be able to call out his name once again.
No matter how old we become we are never truly prepared for the death of our parent. It certainly doesn't make it easier when they die before their time. Compounding the pain was the early, untimely death of my Mother, Jane Tessel at the age of 32 back in 1970.
It has been a few weeks since the untimely passing of my Daddy, Sheldon Tessel. He was 78 years old with a bad ticker. Over the last few years he had complained of "chest pain that didn't seem to go away for long before the next pain started". Ongoing coaxing from his wife of 43 years and me, his only Daughter to go to the ER if he continued to have pain.
My Father was a stubborn man with a lot of pride. If he couldn't figure it out for himself he wouldn't do anything until he did. Medicine was the same way, when he was given medicine to take he researched it until he gave himself a second opinion. Unfortunately this last time he made a decision that most likely added to his progressed disease state.
We were able to spend 6 days with him before he succumbed to the last of his 6 heart attacks over as many days. He was a strong man who fought with everyone over everything-I guess that's where I picked up that habit as well. Three weeks prior to his death he and I had heated discussions about his lack of money. What always wound up happening was I would yell and holler but in the final analysis would send him money. I wish I could have one more heated discussion where I would tell him, "despite his difficulties, I still loved him".