Today I saw Grandpa’s obituary. It’s here if you want to see it: https://www.sentinelsource.com/news/obituaries/robert-leighton-galloway-jr/article_7ca4bac4-02af-5c73-8b5d-3cfbf3cfc083.html
His funeral will be held tomorrow. Seeing the obituary made the feelings of not getting to be there with our family 100% worse, but it also reminded me of how fond I grew of Grandpa in the years I knew him, since around 2013. In a way Grandpa Galloway was the only Grandpa I ever had. I didn’t get to know or meet my two birth grandfathers.
By the time I got to meet him, Grandpa’s wonderful mind wasn’t as sharp, due to illness and the many medications he had to take to manage those illnesses. But once in a while when talking to him his old spark would come, and I would get to see a little bit of the man Christopher knew growing up, whom I didn’t get to know. He’d tell me about his childhood, and about playing golf, and about his travels with Grandma. When he talked about this in particular, he would give little winks and nods in her direction, and you could see how very deeply in love he was with her even then, after so many years.
When Christopher and I began dating, he told me he wished for his marriage to be like the one between his grandparents. As years went on, I understood more and more why he said this, and I share the same feelings now.
I know that if Grandpa and I had met long ago, back when he was himself the most, we would have clashed so much. He was really headstrong and so am I. We had really different viewpoints, though we never got to discuss them. But he and I also had a love of history, among other things. Even though I know we would have clashed, I wish I had known him then, too.
Most of the last couple of years, though Grandpa still had his occasional moments of being himself, the most I could do for him was keep him company on the couch, and he would watch me draw, which he really enjoyed, and I would slip him candy or chocolates, “secretly”. He loved this, even more if we were doing it “secretly” from Grandma. It was such a silly thing, and somehow I feel like I’m going to miss that more than anything.
It’s really hard to know how to close a post like this one… My feelings about an afterlife aren’t as solid as they once were, so platitudes of that sort feel a bit empty to me at this time. I still hope for an afterlife however, and I hope we get to see Grandpa there again someday, and that then I’ll get to talk to him about all the things that he wasn’t able to discuss anymore by the time I got to know him.
Rest well, Grandpa, we love you.