Well, with the Witching Hour almost upon us (and NaNoWriMo for the insane among us) I’m sitting here pondering things great and small.
Halloween is supposed to be the night where the veil between the living and the dead is the thinnest, so it’s a good time to try and contact those who have passed on. At least, if they’re home and not out carousing oot and aboot scaring little kids!
And I was wondering: Who would I like to meet? Who would I want to sit down with for a few hours and spend Halloween with?
Sorry, no one famous here – my two grandfathers.
I can’t think of two men so different who impacted my life in so many ways – one was a gruff, old soul who was an amateur boxer in his youth; moving up to be a training sargent for Canadian troops during WW2 and who yearned to go overseas and never did. Later on he became a tool and die man, working in the mill until he retired.
He gave me beer when I was way too young to drink and always endorsed a good shot of booze for whatever ails ya. He would have loved a grandson, but took this old broad to heart and tried to teach me how to box and to hunt. And he smoked pipes until he had to stop; so much that I still pause whenever I walk by a tobacco shop and inhale the scent deeply and think of him sitting me on his lap during the first moonwalk and telling me “This is important”. I didn’t know anything about that, but he knew the world was changing. A stroke impaired his faculties at the end; taking away his ability to swear/talk in seven languages but not enough to wave me over and recognise me even if he couldn’t talk to me. I have his Legion beret and still remember him wandering down to the Legion for a beer or two or six almost daily, tossing around his tales with the other men.
My other grandfather was an engineer; working his way up to be the CEO of Phillips-Marconi. Stern enough to silence us with just a look, he was a solid family man who never said a bad word against anyone in my presence, hard to do at times. He loved his roast beef super-rare, as I do, and had a quiet strength about him that was truly inspiring. He retired young and stayed young playing golf until a horrible ailment had him bedridden for two years with family caring for him until the end. Still, we had some good times laughing at Eddie the Eagle at the Winter Olympics and to the end, he laughed at my bad jokes. Hard to do when your granddaughter is changing your diapers and feeding you soft-boiled eggs because that’s all you can eat. He was a strong man and I think the world is a bit weaker for his loss.
I’d love to sit at a table with them and talk; just talk over the things that’s happened since they both departed. Have a few drinks and just get some advice from the two men who truly shaped my world as surrogate fathers and who, despite being from very different worlds, managed to help this old broad get it together.
And, lest I forget, I’d love to see my two fuzzaloids again. Jazz, who just left me six months ago and Razz, who departed a few years ago. Love to have them both sit with me and let me stroke their fur just one more time. Of course, Jazz would drool on me while Razz would plop herself down on my feet and not move. That’s fuzzaloids for ya.
So… that’s what I’d like to do tonight. Of course, I’m going to be out at a local Open Mike event for most of the evening, hopefully selling a few volumes of “The Second Line”, but maybe when I finally get to sleep I’ll get a chance to visit…