Saying Goodbye

My grandfather passed away a little bit before six a.m. yesterday morning. Many people have heard me complain about my grandfather over the years... he was cranky, demanding, unforgiving, mean to my grandmother, selfish, etc... and for the most part, that was all true. He was all of those things, even more so over the last year, but it wasn't entirely his fault; for a man as proud and independent as he always was, it couldn't be easy to have his body fail on him the way he did to leave him completely dependent on other people for every living thing. So yes, I did complain often about his negative traits. But here are some of the things I didn't say often enough:

When things fell apart between my parents when I was a baby, he agreed to take me in with my grandmother and raise me during the week.

He used to buy toys for me and hide them for a day when I was really good or deserved a reward, and when I inevitably found the presents early he let me have them just because.

He used to play Lincoln Logs with me and let me use his old train set, and let me watch whatever I wanted in the living room.

He taught me about baseball.

He'd drive me and my friend around to all the comic book stores in Queens sometimes on random hunts for comics we wanted. He'd drive my friends home after they came over the house for whatever reason. In fact, he'd usually drive me wherever I wanted to go, even in recent years when the weather was awful or I was running late.

Almost everything I know about doing things around the house, I learned from him.

When I went back to finish getting my degree, he sold some of the stock he loved so much to help me pay for some of the tuition.

In short, pretty much whatever he could do for me, really for any of his grandchildren, he did.

I wish I had more to say, but words have been failing me for the last day or so. Was he a hard man to live with and at times even a difficult man to like? Absolutely.  But he was my grandfather... and more than that, a father to me for almost all of my life. I loved him, and I'll miss him.


  1. The man also knew how to carve wood like a motherfucker. I have his Celtic cross front and center at work.

  2. That would make him happier than words could say.

  3. I always enjoyed bitching about the Mets to him.

  4. Oh, if there's one thing that man loved, it was bitching about the Mets. I swear, sometimes I though he actually hated them.

  5. Isn't that the essence of being a Mets fan? lol

  6. Sadly true. I think I'm taking 2012 off from them lol

  7. I never knew your grandfather but from what you described he sounds like he was a decent human being. He raised you well Jim. =)

  8. To this day, one of my favorite moments of my first few years in the states was him driving us to Crazy Scondo's Comics (followed up by Rick's Comic Cave). I had $40 to spend on comics that day, and I thought I was a baller. (I bought Amazing Spider-Man #346 that day...the issue where Venom is holding Spider-Man's skull...I thought it was the baddest thing ever). I seriously can still remember the air freshener smell of the car.

    Your grandparents were always good to me Jim, and I will always remember that about them.

    I know what you're going through right now, having gone through hell the last year and a half with Claire's mom's losing battle with cancer. It sucks. It's a shitty feeling. But if you ever do want to reach out, give me a shout (347) 640-0179

  9. Thanks, Pete, I appreciate the support. They always felt like you were part of the family back then.


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