The last two weeks my sister’s and I have been doing some house cleaning in my grandpa’s house and sorting for what each of us want to keep ans what we will be donating to goodwill. The first week was fine… we mostly did the kitchen and sorted the things in his cabinets. We found some cool glasses and mugs, but it wasn’t anything too emotional or anything. Yesterday was kind of a different story. We went through his master bedroom closet without much fanfare… there were some memories, but nothing too crazy. Then we started going through his nightstands.
There was truly a lot of cool stuff in his nightstands… pay stubs from his old job (singular, he stayed with one company his whole life), old coins, old pictures, etc.
The really sad thing we found was stuff from when my grandma was ill (she passed before i was born). My grandpa would keep little notebooks and calendars of things… doctors appointments, store orders, etc. The two things that really affected me are as follows. The first was one of the notebooks in 1982, but before i was born. it was basically chronicling my grandma’s sickness and everything she went through… it really reminded me of the things my mom went through and it was heart-breaking. The second and most affecting thing was a series of one-a-day calendar pull-off sheets. my grandpa had kept the sheets of the days of note in my grandma’s sickness starting with the day of her surgery and ending with the day of her burial. he marked on the top of each page he kept what major thing happened that day. I don’t even remember what most of them said, but i remember that he kept all of the days between her death and her burial, but they didn’t have anything noted on top.
i think that i want those calendar pages more than anything else in his house.
Not only did this bring memories back from my mom, but it just goes to show how much he cared about my grandma, who i never met. it kind of humanized not only the grandma that i never knew, but also my grandpa. this is not to say that my grandpa was distant or even close to that. he just always kept it together and was the strong, but gentle and joking old guy. he did show real sorrow when my mom passed, but i didn’t “appreciate” that… or i was too hung up in my own grief that it didn’t make the impact that it “should” have.
anyway, i am getting a little teary writing this and i think i have wrote all i wanted for now.