It's all over. The arrangements, the viewing, the funeral, the uncomfortable conversation of the reception. It's all finished and I'm heading home, rolling towards Iowa at 70 mph.
As I said in my previous post, I was able to learn a lot about my Grandpa this week. Some of it was very surprising, some less so, but all of it endlessly fascinating. I never found myself waiting for a story about him to end, only wishing it would go on just a little longer.
I left Chunk and Denver Mom in Denver, traveling up to Red Wing with my parents. Making that drive, just one more time, this time as an adult, has been weird, but also nice. An uncle patted me on the back after the funeral, telling me it was nice to get to know me as a man, as opposed to the little boy he used to know, but that was only after I helped him set up his iPod, so I guess his comment might be a little suspect. My dad and I talked a lot of politics, something he used to only do with his dad, so in some ways it felt like the torch had been passed to me. I was able to have a few conversations with my grandmother-in-law that were nice and also very sad. She has a rough road ahead of her, a lonely road, and if any of you have any well wishes or supportive thoughts left in you, I'd appreciate it if you send them her way. She could use them more than I could.
It was very strange being away from Chunk. Denver Mom and I have had time apart, but I've never been away from my son and this week was harder on me, for that reason, than I thought it would be. I miss being a dad and I'm looking forward to getting that job back at the end of our drive. I'm also looking forward to being a husband again. I'm ready to be home.
We found a notebook in my grandpa's office where he had been writing down some of his memories. Whether my grandpa had known it or not, he had been doing a bit of blogging, and I'm looking forward to reading some of his memories and thoughts in the week ahead. I might even share some of them here.
Below is my favorite picture with my grandpa. He was quite a fisherman and I spent a lot of time in the boat with him, learning how to fish, but mostly learning how to be quiet and still. I'm told it was my grandpa's favorite picture too.