There are just some things in life that you don’t talk about with other people. My dad always said, steer clear of religion or politics in order not to offend anyone. My mom always told me not to talk about private family issues as if I were airing out the laundry, and my granny always said not to talk about your finances because it just ain’t nobody’s business, but in my rule book, I say people shouldn’t talk about people that are dead, for in thinking and talking about them it makes you sad. Take for example my grandfather he died from lung cancer almost five years ago and yet it still feels like yesterday.
You see, when he retired from working at the supermarket’s regional offices he promised Granny that the two of them would travel the world. Places like Rome, London, and Japan would be but a few of their traveling destinations. He promised my brother that he would be there for every ball game and band concert between then and graduation, and he promised me that he would be my campaign manager at every stop all the way to the top. With his humble beginnings in a one room shack he rose straight to the top of the workforce food chain. He wanted to be everything to everyone, but promises die hard when you get lung cancer. Not long after his retirement party Papa became sick, but the old stubborn ox wouldn’t budge on his unwillingness to go to the doctor. I think it was his optimism that finally did him in. When he finally went to the doctor, sure he only had a cold, he discovered that he had pneumonia. It was when the pneumonia wouldn’t go away that the doctors began to look for something else. 500 doctor visits, 85 chemo treatments, and 1 sold house later he ended up in the hospital for what would later be known as his last time. It was only after his death did we truly begin to realize how bad off he really had been.
I remember the day he died and the dreary rainy days that followed, even though not one rain drop fell from the sky. I so desperately wanted to pretend he wasn’t gone, pretend he hadn’t left me. He died in October and just as I had started getting over the awful breakup Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around which means family get togethers and all those extended family members looking at you like “oh poor baby!” and such. STOP! Just make it STOP! Seriously, how can you eat popcorn, or apples, or put peanuts in your soda. How does one fill out their NCAA tournament bracket when the stat behind the stats man is gone. Where is one to find their dreams and future when the one that kept them for you has vanished, leaving no map or directions of where to find them. I understand the relief and gratefulness that is to be had because he is no longer in pain and is in a better place, but what about me? I’m the one that’s been left behind. I’m the one with the memories, sadness, and empty hole to carry.
So as you can see – too many memories, too many broken promises, too many lost opportunities all compile to make a million and one reasons for my original argument leave the dead dead.