Thursday, January 16, 2014
My Grandpa Bum passed away last Sunday, just a few months after his 80th birthday. This is the first time I've lost a grandparent, and it feels very strange. I grew up seeing him often, and I can't imagine what family gatherings will look like without him there. He was always quick with a joke, but he would also take time to ask how things were going, and not in the way that's just to be polite, you knew he really cared how you were doing. Any time I called their house to say happy birthday or father's day or just hello he would end the call by telling me how proud him and my grandma were of me, and I always felt so warm and loved knowing he was on my team. He was married to my grandma for 60 years, and their story is the sweetest.
This picture is one my dad just sent me, Bum at work in the late 50's-early 60's. He loved tractors and knew everything about them. Today, leaving play group, Joony spotted a tractor doing some work on the road next to the church. He stood quietly and watched the tractor work for a long time, and I stood with him and felt my Grandpa near for just a minute. It was a very special, fleeting moment.
It's strange being so far away from my family right now, too. I'll get into part of my routine, feeding Joony or emptying the dishwasher or something, and my brain will trick me into forgetting for a minute or two, but then when I remember again I feel surprised by it all over again. I've been that crazy person crying while driving down the highway, or in the middle of a Zumba class. I will miss my Grandpa and the funny, warm, hard-working man he was.
I wasn't sure if I would be able to make it to one of the two life celebrations my Grandma's holding--they both required travel with a toddler, and we have some big changes coming in the next month or two, so finances are bit tight. I was worried about spending the money to go, and I was worried about missing his celebration. Once we decided to just book the travel last night, though, I felt an immediate heaviness lift from around my heart. It was the right decision. I'm feeling so grateful I'll be able to go hug my sweet Grandma and share happy memories of one of my favorite people.