These are the thoughts of a Texas transplant in West Michigan who makes his living as a newspaper reporter by evening, and a struggling novelist by day.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

an old man has gone out to sea...not to return

my grandfather, octavio garcia, died this morning about 1 t0 2 this morning. he was in a nursing home for the past few months due to his declining health.

i last saw my grandfather a few weeks back while i was in texas for my aunt's funeral. we stopped by after the bereavement luncheon. he was in bed, body frail, but eyes still sharp. he still had a wit about him, too.

his mind was a steel trap. as i sat there, he started talking about death in a roundabout way. a few siblings left, his younger brother and sister and himself. he told me how old they were. he went on to talk about the cost of luggage while flying. it surprised me because that's not a topic one simply talks about for fun. he must've heard it somewhere, filed it away, and brought it up since i was flying back the next day.

i left him as he sipped on a dr. pepper. i told him not to curse at the nurses, even though he said they were a pain. it was a good visit. i'm glad i had that hour with him. most of it was spent alone, since mom went out several times to get him something. at least i have that to remember him and not some vague memory from half a year or more ago (it would have been christmas when i saw him previously at his house. and he was fine, then.)

i remembert him as a smart man. he was a self-taught mechanic. he knew the ins and outs of a car engine like no one else. people would come to his home to ask him about cars. he knew his shit.

he was the kind of person that could have gone on to college and gotten a degree in something if he was in a different place and time. he didn't finish high school only because of a teacher. so he left in the twelth grade.

he was a voracious reader. i think that's where i get my love of reading. he passed it on to his daughter, my mom, and that got passed on to me. it's a wonderful gift to pass on. thanks, buelito.

growing up, what i remember most of him is him smelling like gasoline from working on cars. he always has grease under fingernails from his work.

i love you, buelo.

4 Comments:

Blogger Rose said...

Roel, I'm sorry to read that once again you've had a death in the family. My condolences. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers.
Rose

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