Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Grandparents and Green M&M's

I remember in little league baseball we would sit in the dugout eating M&M's. Probably why we never won so many games. We would say that if you ate a yellow one before you batted, you would hit a double. If you ate an orange one, you would get a triple. And if you ate a green one, you'd hit a homerun. (There were no reds and blues in the early 1980's.)

I went to the funeral home for a bit last night. Amber's grandfather passed away, so I stopped by the visitation for a minute. I have written only a small bit about my grandparents. I want to write more at some point. My Mom's mother died in 1992. She was my last living grandparent. Even today, I can pick up the telephone and dial her number. I don't know why I can still remember it. I would like to think that means that maybe I called her quite a bit. I hope so, but it's hard to remember.

My Dad's mom passed away when I was 12 or 13, I think. Dad was her only child. Meanwhile, Mom had eleven brothers and sisters. So we spent holidays with Mom's side of the family. I vividly remember Thanksgivings when Dad and I would leave the family gathering and take a plate of food to his Mom. She would just be there all alone on the holiday, get to see us for ten minutes maybe. It tears me up so bad to think about that now. Being a kid, I didn't think about it then. I am so sorry. I remember Dad would go and get her and bring her over on Christmas Eve day and she'd always have my sister and I these gifts that we'd have to pretend to like. How horrible is that! Her only two grandchildren. I hate this story. She probably died of loneliness.

I have heard friends complain about their grandparents from time to time. I always try to tell them what I wish someone had told me. Maybe someone did and I just didn't listen. That's probably what happened. Cherish your time with them. With all your loved ones. Going to see them or calling them may seem like such a chore sometimes. But there will come a day when you would give anything to be able to visit them. At least that's how it is for me.

Anyway, when I got back from the funeral home, my sister called. She told me that a boy who was a year ahead of me in school had put a bullet thru his head. I never knew him much. We played little league baseball together. My sister wanted to know what makes a person do that? I wondered how do you go from hoping for a green M&M to life being too hard? In twenty years. I think that one of the best parts of being a child is the innocence, being sheltered for a little while from what can be such a cruel world. Once the innocence is ripped away, reality sets in. And I guess sometimes, for some people, reality can be way too much to handle.

Then I wake up this morning to see that Gilligan died. Boy, Skipper, cancer really is a rotten thing.

"And Papa said to Mama as he passed around the blackeyed peas, well Billy Joe never had a lick of sense, pass the biscuits, please..."


  1. I agree wholeheartedly!! My family members are dwindling too quickly. When my sister was a child (she's 17 years older than me), the family was huge. Now it seems everyone is gone. I too think about what I could have done differently, treated them better, loved them more. And I could cry and cry about it. You don't realize these things as a child or even as an adult sometimes. I often think I'd like to volunteer at an old folks home. But, I don't think I could handle it. It's too sad. Suicide is such a tremendously desperate thing. It breaks my heart.

  2. I'm sure your grandmother understood - don't let it get you down now. The best thing you can now do is get your message out about loving and caring for others and when you're a father you'll model for your children a better way of life that you've learned from experience.

    I'm sorry to hear about your classmate. Thankfully, I've never gotten to the point in my life that I couldn't bear to be in it any longer - so I can't say I understand how it gets that bad.

    Also, sorry to hear about Amber's grandfather. Good for you for going to the visitation. It's a hard thing to do sometimes but for those who can handle it, the remaining family members sometimes really do appreciate the time and effort and thoughtfulness.

    You've opened up some thoughts again for me - of my grandparents. I hope to write about them someday too. Sometimes though, I know I could never do them justice.

  3. Carnealian: Yeah, life goes so fast and seems so busy, a lot of times I miss what's important. Tryin' to work on it.

    Cindy: Well didn't mean to be so somber. And my rule is I've never regretted going to a visitation or funeral. I have regretted not going.

  4. Bone... they knew your heart (which, I'm sure is as pure as gold) and that you were a child... we were all like that. Life is difficult to grasp when you've only seen a decade of it.
    Sometimes its hard to grasp when you've seen 3+ decades of it...
    Sorry to hear about your green M&M friend.

    The green M&Ms were always my favorite...

  5. Very few of us have the patience or the forethought when we are children to 'hang out' with our grandparents. Plus, our society is based on consumerism, which skews our ability to appreciate the 'uncool' gifts or the $5 in a card that our budget-consious elders could afford. I'm sure your grandmother knew your heart.

  6. Agreed about grandparents, Bone. It's always good to appreciate EVERYONE you've got in your life while they're still around.

    It's shitty to hear about the kid who killed himself. I've never understood why people take their lives, either. What about this life is so hard that death is the only alternative?

  7. bonester your one of the careingest people i know. Just reading your story i'm sure your grandmother knew she was very special to u.Our granparents will always be in our hearts. It saddens me to hear about your freind. I wished he had ask God for help only he can help us through the tough times.I pray for the family that they turn to God and freinds during their time of sorrow.

    luv u always

  8. That is such a sad story! I know I'm a bit late in reading it. I had really good intentions today, but work got in the way...damn work ;-)

    With all honesty, that is sad. I almost lost my only grandpa when I was prego with my son almost 5 years ago. He had to have emergency heart surgery, then went into a coma. It was so scary! Now I try to see him, my grandma, and my great grandma, as much as I can. I know my time with them is limited, and I want to make the most of it. Not only that, I want my kids to be able to make the most of it...Extended family is so important, and in my family, it's slim pickins!!!!

    As for your old friend, I have no words. I've been the depression route, and when you're there, there is no logic. It's horribly sad and tragic.

    My heart and thoughts are with you, for whatever that's worth.

  9. Thank you all for the comments.

    I'm not sure what would be so hard that would make death look better than life. But what is sad to me is thinking about how someone must have felt in the hours, days, and weeks before they ended it. How depressed, hopeless, perhaps lonesome, they had to be.