Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I've gotten criticism in the past for sharing too much. "Emily, why do you write those things? For anyone to read?" Because I must. It's who I am. Occasionally, my raw feelings poured out in words (that, granted, aren't always very carefully chosen or eloquent) may make people feel uncomfortable. Also, I'm sure I act like I'm self-righteously mouthing off half the time. Sorry. I figure we're all ultimately the same though. Exposing emotions connects me to you, connects me to EVERY person, and when I start feeling isolated, I just need to write. That's that. My post today probably appears to be the provincial topic of a high school essay, I apologize. Not able to be well-spoken right now, just simple and plain, and it will have to do.

If someone asked me to name off my top five favorite people in the whole world...I'd have a pretty difficult time doing it. But one person I wouldn't question would be my Grampa (Yes, I realize normal people spell it 'Grandpa'. I don't.) Avery. And I believe anyone that knows him would say the same. Because there's nothing he wouldn't do for you. Nothing. He'll take you fly fishing on a moment's notice. He'll drop all his plans to watch you dance. He'll show you how to tie knots, dig potatoes, make a kazoo out of a comb and some wax paper. He'll go with you down the Giant Slide at the fair, if you're afraid to go alone. He'll make you popcorn and watch the Disney Sunday Movie with you. He'll teach you to drive. He'll be patient and kind and encouraging. He'll never let you down. I know I've written about him before, how his hugs have always meant the world to me. Today when I hugged him, it still did, it meant the world, only he couldn't hug me back. That was hard.

Stroke...brain bleed...we don't understand exactly what all that means yet, but I'm guessing it's pretty serious since every auntie has flown in. I keep saying "WHY? He's so healthy...compared to most people his age." It's never occurred to me that he's old, not when I watch him playing Lincoln Logs with my boys, not when I see him telling a familiar tale, his hands gesturing wildly, or waltzing with Gram, not when he climbs to the top of the slide with a burlap sack in one hand, and yours in the other.

Maybe it's his time. Maybe it really IS, right out of the blue, like he would have probably wished for. I've got to think about that and figure out if I can be OK with it, but you know, it doesn't matter if I am or not...I don't have a say here, really. The fact that I'm NOT OK with it matters not one iota. So, I WILL be OK. What other choice is there? End of story. I'll be wicked sad. Far sadder than I've ever been before. Or he'll rally, and I won't yet.

At my aunt Deb's the other night, for my cousin Lilly's birthday, he hugged me so tight, he nearly squeezed the air out of me, with his prickly chin roughing up my cheek the way he does. And we love it. He holds on, makes you feel precious, cherished, it's not just a hug-let go thing, it's a hug, hold, hold, hold, "I love you. You know how special you kids are? Gosh, we sure do love you kids. Love those little duffers of yours, look at 'em! Jeezum! Don't they grow though? You're doing such a good job Emmy. Nobody could say you're not. Gramp's real proud of you." It's a whole lotta love, and pride, and a pep talk wrapped up in one massive hug. See, if I turn out alright, THIS will be why I'm a decent human being. With family like that, I can't fail, and I'm glad, glad, glad to have them. I can be brave because I've got them to back me up.

Wish I could have known the other night, if it'd be the last time I snapped his suspenders, as I passed by. Wish I could have recorded his chuckle. Only...I kinda did, I guess, because when I think about it, I can hear him.

When fair time rolls around, I'm going down the Giant Slide. Maybe Gramp will come with me. Maybe he won't. But either way, I'm doing it.

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