The Grandest of Grandpas

I miss my Grandpa.
Good God, I loved him SO darn much.

Still do.

Bigger than the oceans, taller than the trees, wider than the galaxies. Today is the anniversary of his passing, and quite frankly...I'm still pissed. {Excuse my Italian for today.} In my opinion, losing him was maddening, unfathomable and down right ridiculous. 6 years later, I am still trying to pick up the pieces of my broken heart, but I don't have the energy to start trying because there's still no way to mend each saddened bit. Nope.

So, I just march on.

Keeping a smile on my face, while being absolutely bummed deep down inside. Sure, he flew up above to a much better place after I had the honor of joking beside him for almost 3 decades {and I sound truly selfish because I had him in my life for so incredibly long}, but it still stings. Like a million bees on top of a trillion more bees.

I miss my friend.

Today's post is heavy. King Kong heavy. I don't usually show this side of me, because I tend to drown it out with glittery Martha Stewarty crafts, Buffalo chicken recipes, Twinado Tales and a terribly goofy laugh...{and my struggle pales in comparison to others}...but I just wanted you to know that if you're someone who still hasn't quite gotten over the loss of a loved one {when everyone around you keeps telling you "It will be ok"}...you're not alone.

I've talked about Papa a handful of times on here, and with great pride, of course. I loved everything he stood for. He lived his life loud and with no regrets. He was completely over the top and wore his heart on his sleeve. You could hear him whispering 5 blocks away and he didn't give a crap. Nope. Not a single crap!

He was a man of great faith...one who adored his heritage and his community. He helped establish our area's Columbus Day Parade, and he had the honor of being the first Chris on the float. {He may have gotten juuuuust a wee bit into character on this one!}


He drove a kick ass Crown Vic, had a slicked-back-Brill-Cream salt and pepper 'do and wore a different Member's Only jacket each day of the week. {Not kidding!} I can still fondly hear change clinking together when I think of his swagger. Crisp white shirts, "slacks," and shiny shoes. As Italian as you can get. Times infinity.

Sorta like this. Only with a 4'11 spitfire named Kay riding shotgun.

He was a BOSS.

Truly! For many, many years, he was a bodyguard in the political realm back in the day...and City Hall, The ATL, NYC and D.C. can be counted among his stomping grounds. {He was full 'o fun, that one.}

Here's Popperoonie representin' in plaid near Sen. Kennedy!

He thought the world of me and my sister. The freaking WORLD. We lived next door to him and my Kay Kay growing up. We could do no wrong in his eyes. {or Kay's, for that matter!} He'd sneak us out of being grounded, hand us King Size Snickers bars just because, and take us with him to the cigar store when he'd visit his paisanos {his buddies from the old neigh-ba-hood}. They'd all stop down around the same time and other grand kids would be with their grandfathers too. {One of my best friends and I met in the candy aisle when we were about 7 years old!}

We were his riding buddies. Grocery stores...Bakeries...Garage Sales. You name it - he brought us along. He'd chase down the ice cream man and buy treats for whoever else lined up behind us. Every. Single. Person. {Including adults!} I've never met anyone like him {except my dad, of course!}. For 15 years, he stood at the foot of the stage at the end of every one of my dance recitals with 2 arms full of flowers. Full.

He gave me a gigantic Italian flag, a cooler full of frozen sauce and Stella Doros to take with me to college. His face was the one I looked for when I crossed the stage at graduation. I saw it. Because he was STANDING UP in the audience! Whistling! Shouting. Hooting. Hollering.

She's now in my garage. Displayed under a bike...exactly how his was!

I'll treasure my Grandpa/Granddaughter dance when we twirled around to a song from The Godfather. {#Guidos} And, I'll never forget the shriek in his voice when we told him we were moving back East. Never. The heightened, exuberant, joyful pitch in his voice was something I'll carry with me for the rest of my life. {I expect to fully return that sound when we meet again someday across the gates.}

He passed away just 6 months after we moved back...and just a handful of months before we found out I was expecting the twinnie-pies. Damn, how I wish I could have seen his reaction to the news. He would have went back-flipping NUTS! And, damn, what I wouldn't give to have just caught a 5-second glimpse of him holding them when they were born. {I'd even settle for 1/4 of a second.}

I digress.

Thanks for letting me vent for a minute. I really had no exact point in this post today...just wanted to make a good 'ol fashioned exhale over the internet, I guess! If you find yourself in a similar fog, I urge you to listen to this little melody from Beyonce when you want to remember your loved one. Close your eyes and listen to it. You'll cry...yep. But, know I'm right there with ya.

Sure, I could be listening to many other bluesy beats...Wicked's For Good, some sort of Josh Groban chant or an Xtina ballad. But something about this goodie and its WORDS just hit home.

Click the pic to listen to some wise words from Bey. 

Keep on marching, friend.

No comments:

Post a Comment