>My Grandpa Died for My Mom’s Birthday

by jvaragona


There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening
with an insurance salesman?

—-Woody Allen

Is it wrong to joke after a death? To me, it is the only way to stay sane. I can only imagine how my mother feels. Yesterday, September 18th, was her 53rd birthday. Fifteen minutes into the day, at 12:15 AM, her father, my granddad, Jim Gifford, died. He was 84 years old and had dealt with several strokes recently. We were told a few days ago that things weren’t good, but the doctors gave him 3 months. So much for that. I think she takes it personally, because they say we can control when we die to an extent. I don’t know what to think.

I just dropped my parents off at the airport for a trip to Italy to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. They’ve been planning it for years. I hope they have a swell time, because I won’t. I do have a funeral to go to, but it has more to do with the accompanying family drama. My mother was written out of the will along with one out of two uncles. Apparently they didn’t visit enough at the hospital. As people are ill, life goes on, and so do jobs and families. Either Granddaddy didn’t understand that, or his wife (Grandma passed away 15 years ago) helped him to not understand that. And I am left to deal with this psychodramatic bullshit. I don’t blame my parents…they invested a lot into their trip. I still do not comprehend why families like my mother’s feel the need to bicker over petty crap when they are a family. They came from the same blood.

I am going to the visitation and the funeral. I owe it to my Granddad and my mother. That doesn’t mean I am not completely uncomfortable. It’s a shame.

Aside from the crap pertaining to his second marriage, Jim was good to have around. He watched and played more golf than anyone I’ve ever met. He even taught me and my late brother how to drive balls at the range, which I still do to this day on occasion (it is great for aggression). As a child, I fished with him at his lake house and learned a thing or two from that. Thanks Granddad, so long. And Happy Birthday Mom.