Goodbye, Papa

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Tuesday morning when checking my email from the hotel in Bozeman, Mt., I saw an email in my inbox: Official notice that I’ve been laid off.

A couple hours later I stopped to get lunch and checked my email. I didn’t get a job I applied for.

Then I arrived at my aunt and uncle’s house. I’m super grateful to have their basement bedroom for a few days with my cat, but at the same time, I was feeling down. I have no job. I have no apartment. I have no job prospects. Why did I come back to Seattle with a cat and no where to live?

Then my ex-boyfriend called to tell me our Papa had died. All I could do was sigh. Why now? Why today? Can’t I live in a world with my “supposed-to-be” grandfather for one more day?

I was sad, but on a lack of sleep in a different time zone with no job and no home, it was difficult to grasp the enormity of losing Papa. My last week in New York, Papa and I emailed a lot (it was my preferred way of communicating. I often had difficulty understanding him on the phone). I sent him the photos that Quyn had taken of me in the city. He replied that he printed them all and was going to the store for frames for them. All of them? I asked. All of them, he answered.

I told him I was honored to be added to the grandchild shrine. He told me I was already in it. Papa is my ex’s grandfather. We liked to say we “kept each other” after the breakup.

I visited him in Texas in the summer of 2012. Papa had told all the nurses at the care facility that his “New York lawyer granddaughter was visiting.” (I was taking a law class in New York at the time.) I think the nurses were so confused as to who this city girl was visiting Papa, but he was happy, so they didn’t much care. As I was leaving, one of the nurses asked Papa how many grandchildren he has. “One, a grandson,” Papa answered. The nurse eyed me funny. I smiled, but said nothing. Papa explained to a couple of the nurses that I was his “supposed-to-be granddaughter.” That worked for me. He’s my supposed-to-be grandfather, too.

While I was driving West this past week, I snapped some pictures that I planned to send to Papa when I got settled and could go through them.

I was too slow, but I wanted to share them with you anyway.

Published by Candace

I’m a journalist, nutritionist, doting auntie, one-time bobsledder, and wannabe health nut (who loves chocolate and pizza too much to fully commit). I don't want you to think my life is perfect. It's not.

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