Monday, February 13, 2006

A Tall Man

My grandfather is the third relative to have passed away since I arrived in Europe. I have not been able to return home for anyone’s services, and I was not able to do so for Poppy’s. I spent the rest of the day and night trying to find a flight cheaper than 3200 euros (roundtrip), and how I might return to Caen before returning to the States, but it was not meant to be. Even after some extended searching the next day (to no avail), I still had my heart set on returning home.
For the first time since May, I wanted to be home. I wanted to see my mommy, my sisters, and brother. I didn’t want to see my grandma; I didn’t want to see her crying, or watch as she buried her partner and best friend of 60 years. But, I wanted to be there for her, to let her know how much he meant to me, and how much I loved and supported her.


Poppy was a war veteran. He fought in Japan during WWII. He was a carpenter, farmer, and cowboy. He continued to break horses well into his 60’s, and loved to tinker with antique farm equipment. He taught me how to play—or rather cheat at cards, and always managed to swindle me out of any candy I happened to have. He loved the Seattle Mariners, and—should there be a game on, always insisted we watched it over anything else (he also had a thing for Dr. Quinn). Poppy was the only relation as tall as I. He loved my height, but always greeted me with a hug, and a quick measure to make sure he was still taller. He loved my mother’s meatloaf, and ate a grilled cheese sandwich everyday for lunch.
He was laid to rest—against his wishes (he wanted to be cremated, Mimi insisted he be buried), at a veteran’s cemetery in Idaho. The service included a 21-gun salute and flag folding ceremony. Several of my white-trash cousins didn’t show. We have yet to decide if that was disrespectful or simply for the best.


When I finally accepted the fact that I would not be going home, I curled up on my bed and cried for a few hours. But, as I had to be in Munich that night, I dutifully gathered my belongings and headed for the Bavarian capital.

5 Comments:

Blogger Megan said...

Serena I am so sorry for your family's loss. Sending you good thoughts and prayers.

12:04 AM  
Anonymous SueAsian said...

Take care Serena. So sorry about yoru family news. Hope you are well.

2:46 AM  
Anonymous Eric said...

I'm sorry about your troubles....

I wish I could wisk you home.

When are you coming back to the states? I may make a trip over in May after graduation....

3:45 AM  
Blogger UrbanCannibal said...

Chin up Dollface, we've got you covered

6:40 AM  
Blogger JgStephan said...

I am so sorry to hear that Serena, it makes me sad.

4:57 PM  

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