Sometimes I push myself way too hard, especially emotionally. Today started with nothing going wrong, but little things just getting under my skin and I was having such strong reactions to such insignificant little things that I could sense the impending spiral of the day approaching. And when you’re at the happiest place on earth (sorry, not you, Disney World), you (or at least I) start to think “what’s wrong with me? What am I doing wrong?” And the answer was nothing. I was not doing anything different, so add frustration to the mix of already turbulent feelings and I felt like I was going crazy inside of my own skin.
It was halfway through my first class (Lindy Hop Advanced 2) that I realized what was happening. Last Thursday my Grandfather passed away. Due to flight schedules and prices and talking it over seriously with my dad and my uncle, I decided to continue my stay in Herräng, since there was no way I could make the funeral (early this week). Once the decision was made, I have not been able to address how this event has effected on the whole. This is not unusual for me, as I often try to involve myself with what I am presently doing, leaving little attention to anything else. This can be really unhealthy in some situations, and everything just seemed to crash down on my shoulders today. I’m sorry I cannot be there with my family. I’m sorry I didn’t know how much he was suffering in the end. I’m sorry. I’m just so sorry.
I can’t remember when the last time I saw him. I think it was at my cousin Joe’s wedding in 2010, which seems like a lifetime ago. He didn’t travel a lot these last two years, and the last time I was meant to come and visit… well, for obvious reasons I couldn’t.
This is the third piece I’ve had to write for a funeral in less than three years, and they do not get any easier.
I’ve been trying to think of what I’ve wanted to say about Grandpa. And all I can think about is that he was always gentle, always kind, he loved us so much.
The one memory I keep coming back to is that when Michael and I were little (three or four or five years old) and we would be visiting Grandma and Grandpa or they would be visiting us, we would get up annoyingly early (as children often do) and (once Mom confirmed that both grandparents were awake) crawl into bed with them. Grandpa had this watch that, when you pressed a button on the side, the face would light up. And he told us, it could understand us and even answer us so long as we asked specific questions. So the watch would blink (magically to our over imaginative young minds) once for yes and twice for no to whatever silly questions we could think of. It could also do math! It would blink out the answer to whatever we problems we gave it (two plus two, for example). What a smart watch!
Of course, when we grew older, we figured it out and started sleeping later. But this memory is what I think of most when I think of Grandpa. I think of how much joy it brought my brother and me to be snuggled up in bed with him and giggling at the absurdity of this watch that would answer us with a blinking face.
I also think it describes Grandpa very well, that he was happy with the simpler things and I always remember him smiling, especially when we would all be together as a family. It’s something that I always admired about him.
Grandpa, I love you so much. I’m so sorry I was not able to say goodbye. I hope you are in a better place and not in pain any more. I’ll see Grandma soon and give her lots of long overdue hugs and kisses.
Again, I am so sorry I cannot be there. Know that I am thinking of you all and that I love you. I will be back in the U.S. soon. Hopefully we can work something out for the holidays. Until then, hugs and kisses from Sweden.
Normal entries will return by Thursday, this time with more photos of Herräng.