I, like all people, have lots of regrets about lots of stuff. Some is stupid stuff. Some are a bit more substantial. Some have me crying over and over again, causing me to stare through blurry eyes at my laptop screen while trying not to be overheard by my coworkers around me.
I am losing my grandfather. He was diagnosed with cancer about a year ago, and over that past year it's slowly been stealing him away. He is nearing the end of his time with us, and I find myself hurting with regret. I think of all those family get-togethers where I said my hellos, asked a few questions, and then drifted over to my cousins or sisters, where I felt I had more in common and the conversations were easier. I know that's what happens, that I am not the only one that does that. But now I am angry at myself about it. I should have spent more time talking to my grandfather. Telling him about the happenings in my life. Find out what is going on with him. Find out more about him, what he liked to do, etc. What DID he like to do? I know he loved cooking. We used to go to his house for Thanksgiving dinners, and the food was always awesome. I remember as a child going to his house and helping him make pasta. I don't mean taking a package of hard pasta and throwing it into a pot. I mean Grandpop making his own pasta dough and rolling it out (or extruding it, whatever that process is), and hanging the spaghetti strands up on line to dry in the kitchen. My sisters and I would help by eating some of the raw pastas.
What else did he like to do? I don't really know. I know he traveled, at least some. I remember my mom mentioning things he would bring back from some trips. But I don't really know if it was a lot of traveling, or just the basic traveling we all do. I think he was in something military-related, but I couldn't really tell you what.
I feel like I wasted my time with him. I selfishly told him about some of the things going on with me during those family get-togethers, and didn't even take the time to find out much about him. And soon he will be gone. He is a shadow of who he used to be, confined to a bed and looking like he weighs less than I do now. He still had his humor when I talked to him this weekend, but that almost makes it harder, knowing that he is fully aware of what is going on. Maybe it would be easier if he was lying in a stupor, clueless. But then I wouldn't even have a chance to find out at least something more about him. Darn it, even now I am berating myself for not asking him more things when I visited him this weekend. Not finding out a little bit more about this wonderful man who helped give birth to and raise my mother. This man who I have a little bit of in me. What part of him do I have? What traits are like his traits? I am SO not ready to lose him. I want more time. I need more time.
I love you, Grandpop. And I am sorry.