Another gap. Sigh. I am a useless blogger and should be punished. Not in a creepy way. A nice way, like with extra dessert and thoughtful presents. Like how I punish my cat with cuddles.
I’ve left this one because it’s a hard one to write. A few weeks ago, my grandfather died. He had emphysema from years of smoking while away at sea, and he gradually lost the ability to exercise, get around, breathe.
Like the grandfather who died last year, his name was Doug. But I didn’t grow up with this Doug. He was my birth father’s father, and I didn’t know him until I was 16. And then I didn’t talk to him again until I was 24. And then 26. It’s only in the last couple of years that we really got to know each other or spend any time together, so I’m not filled with childhood memories of him. We didn’t even know each other that well, really.
Here’s what I do know: he was a really, really nice man. He was funny, with a great laugh and a sharp wit. He was tall and lean and had the darkest eyes . My brother said he reminded him of me, and I felt like that was a pretty big compliment. He seemed, to me, kind and gentle-natured, and a bit of a ham. He was great with my little cousins, and always so nice and so interested in my life, without ever being pushy about how long it took me to really get to know them.
He was the person who finally fixed my car for me when I broke down (for the thousandth time) in the Coromandel a couple summers ago, and drove all the way to Kamo without coming to a complete stop. He and my grandmother happily gave me a bed for a week while we waited for parts, and Doug and my uncle were in under the hood and consulting with mechanics in minutes. I should thank my car for those extra days of drinking whiskey and L&P and hanging out with the goats, but my car is evil and should never be praised.
I wish I’d known him sooner, but I’m glad I got to spend the time I did with him. If I’m anything like him, I’ll consider myself lucky.
Next Friday Brock and I are heading off on a roadtrip tour of the South Island. I’ve never been past Christchurch, so I’m very excited. And then I get back just in time to fly away to TONGA for a week. And then it’s my birthday. And then it’s Christmas.
Summer is coming. Life is good.