Your Grandparents are 1/4 of who you are. So I found out tonight that I lost my Paternal Grandfather. A man known as RV- Richmond, Virginia. He was tall, dark, and nothing at all like I'd pictured him when I finally met him at the house before my baby sister's funeral. He wore a tupee, had big bulging eyes and was a man of few words. Even today, I can see the five or six times I saw him but I cannot recall his voice or his hug or his smile- although I do believe he smiled at me.
I am his oldest living grandchild and I should have gone to see him. Just tonight I told my Maternal Grandma that I was going to see him- that I hoped he didn't die before I got to see him- like what happened with my grandma (Price). But less than three hours later a call from my Dad confirmed that it had happened again. And now 2/4 of who I am were gone- leaving me with more questions than answers- holes where memories and unconditional love should reside.
I met him for the first time at the funeral- my little sister had died of complications of Downs Syndrome.
Then there was the time my aunt took me over his house shortly after I'd had Kalia- behind my Dad's back.
I saw him once in the hospital when the prognosis looked grim. He was laying there so helpless- nothing like the mean and surly abuser I'd heard stories about growing up.
And then the last time I saw him- at my Grandmother's funeral in 2008- he looked like the more diminuitive version of himself. His eyes held me tenderly across the table, saying what his mouth and embrace never could say. It was his resemblance to my Dad that caused me to recognize him that day. And I proudly introduced my children to him saying- "That's your Great-Grandpa." They looked at me blankly and I knew the words were as devoid of meaning to them as they were to me.
Now he's gone. And with him go all the dreams I had of having a big, fat, jolly Santa Claus Grandpa who would buy me ice cream and rub my knee when I fell. The truth is, I have failed him as much as he failed me. Perhaps he dreamed of his Granddaughter, The Lawyer, coming to reconcile things before he passed. But that day never came. And now I must live with, and make peace with that fact. RIP RV Price