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Friday, December 15, 2006
RIP William Monroe Wright 1926-2006
I've been extremely fortunate. In 31 years, I've only had to attend two funerals. I've known all my grandparents and even two great grandparents, all my aunts and uncles and haven't lost any friends or immediate family. It's something I've been thinking about a lot recently since I got the call last Tuesday that my grandfather had an aneurysm burst and probably wasn't coming home.
It all seemed so sudden. We'd literally seen him two days prior, looking more alive than I'd seen him in years. It was his 80th birthday party, which he got to celebrate with friends and family. If you'd told me then, I wouldn't get to speak to him again, I'd scarcely have believed it.
In fact, the day he went was his 80th birthday proper. He'd spent the day Christmas shopping with my grandma and they were on the way out the door to dinner when he fell in the hallway, and that was that. His body hung on for another week, but we'd really lost him that day.
There'd been a couple of medical scares in years prior. He'd been given six months to live at least a couple times, but he was determined to live better and stayed with us for longer than we'd expected him to. He got to see my two cousins and came so close to seeing my wedding and possible great grandkids.
I'd always felt a special bond with my grandfather, though we'd had few really long involved conversations. He was the archetypal strong and silent type, the kind of person who could tell you a lot with out saying a word. Yet, as I got older, I could see so much of myself in him. My mother always told me so and I really think it's true.
I see him in my sense of humor, in the way I tend to gently tease the ones I love. I can see him in the way I tend to observe more than participate, all the while happy to be there. And, of course, I'll always see him when I sign my full name. His name is my middle name.
These past couple of weeks have been really sad for me, but I think I'm done being sad for a while. This Christmas is going to be hard, as we'll all be thinking of him, knowing how much he loved having everyone around for the holidays. My grandmother, who I always knew was an amazing woman, has been really strong during all this, but I know it's going to be especially rough for her.
For me, I think the moment I lost my sadness was at the wake when I saw a line of people out the door for nearly four solid hours waiting to pay their respects. To know that my grandfather meant that much to so many people makes me feel good. I hope I should be so lucky to positively impact as many people in my life.
And I should also hope to be so luck as to go quickly, feeling no pain and having seen all the people I love one last time.
Rest in peace, Grandpa Bill. You will always be missed.
at 10:55 PM