By cbishop 4 Comments
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|39||10/24/13||Grandma's Stuff, and Grandpa Visits My Dream||(Blog) (Forum)||Off-Topic||(Back) (Next)|
I've spent the last week going through all 137 currently existing pages on the Fan-Fic forum, just browsing for stuff to read, and I've found many gems. One that I've been thinking about the last couple of days is @razzatazz's Writers and Introversion/Extroversion. Mainly, the definitions she offered:
...an introvert can be more accurately portrayed as a thinker inside their head whereas an extrovert can be thought of [as] an outside thinker. Extroverts will fill a room with words, some meaningless, other[s] golden gems. They mostly vet their ideas by having others vet them for them. Introverts on the other hand vet their ideas internally. If you run across an introvert and ask them a question, they are likely to prefer to take a minute or two to give a response. An extrovert will probably start talking without really knowing the response and then move the discussion towards their answer as they talk. This is a fairly simplified version of the definitions.
I think I'm more of an introverted speaker. I generally don't like speaking to groups or people unprepared, so I much prefer to have my thoughts together before letting them out of my mouth. I was going to say that in my writing, I'm introverted for most things, but extroverted on my blogs, journals and personal e-mails- much more meandering when I do those. Which is really the point I'm getting at here: these blog entries I've been doing about my grandmother's passing and the things of hers that have been gradually coming into my possession...they're very much extroverted...sort of. By the time I get to the blog form, I've been thinking about it for awhile, but once I start typing, it's just me getting whatever thoughts out in whatever order, and hoping it makes sense by the end. I think I usually find my way, but I'm starting to have my doubts about this blog. So let me just say thanks for bearing with me while I get these thoughts out. If you got bored and moved on already, no hard feelings.
Yesterday, I did not spend the day sorting through the boxes of comics and other crap stacked up in my living room, as I had planned. Instead, I wound up spending the day helping my mom and my aunt go through boxes of books, magazines, old newspapers, and sundry miscellaneous paper detritus that my grandmother had squirreled away over her lifetime. Mostly, I spent the first hour or two going through some musty (some mildewed) books, and holding onto all of them probably for some latent fear that I'll lose some part of grandma if I let them go. The other four hours or so, I was watching my mom and my aunt go through boxes of paperwork, looking for anything that might be important, or that might catch their nostalgic fancies. I also found a box of plates and bowls I had been looking for, so hey, go me, the day was not a total loss.
I'm being a little bit flippant as a way of coping right now, in case that isn't coming through clearly. It was hard to go through those boxes, and that's only my third or fourth time getting to help. My mom and aunt have been having to do it for months since grandma passed, and really, they started before then, so I can only imagine how they're dealing with it. I mean, I ran across something silly sticking out of one of the boxes- a doll with a crocheted dress, made to cover a roll of toilet paper in your bathroom (both as decoration and for "emergency backup" purposes). It looked very much like the one pictured to your left, but the dress was red and black. Not the kind of thing I collect, but it took all that I had to leave it in the box, simply for the many memories of visiting grandma and grandpa's when I was little, which flooded my mind on sight of it. ...Isn't that silly? A stupid plastic doll that just couldn't look more girly, and I was seriously struggling with whether to keep it or not.
I picked up some other stuff too. Plenty of books. A set of encyclopedias and a few old dictionaries (love those for character ideas, as you may recall me mentioning in previous blogs). Some miscellaneous books that I just couldn't bear to get rid of. Something I was kind of excited to see: a set of encyclopedias on flowers. Flowers and other fauna have been a huge source of character inspiration over the years, so the more info I can have on those the better. Say what you will about books before the 1980's, but with the Internet not around, non-fiction books were, for the most part, very well informed on their chosen subjects. It's an excellent reference set to have, as far as I'm concerned.
Probably one of the coolest books I ran across was the little beauty pictured to the right: In time of Emergency: a citizen's handbook on ...Nuclear Attack ...Natural Disasters. This is a March 1968 pamphlet of Cold War paranoia from the friendly folks at the Department of Defense, Department of Commerce, and the Office of Civil Defense. Pretty awesome? Grandma still had it in the original Department of Commerce envelope it was mailed in, with the government form letter that started off, "Dear fellow citizen." lol
Other weird stuff that I just had to keep yesterday? A couple of old keychains from 1965, that had phone numbers on them that began with letters, rather than numbers (an old style phone number, used back in the day). A metal coin commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of Reader's Digest (and a bunch of the RD issues, which I'm going to scan cartoons and joke pages out of). And a silver dollar from the year I was born, that was given to me by the grandfather on my dad's side of the family. Not sure how it wound up in the hands of the grandmother on my mom's side of the family, but whatever- it was a great find, and that was very special to get back. And lastly, an old white leather copy of the King James Bible, that had belonged to grandma, and needs to be wiped down for the mildew creeping across the cover.
There's probably a couple things I'm forgetting, but that's the gist of it. I don't know why I keep inventorying these things on Comic Vine. Some of it has been comic related, some of it hasn't. I guess I just need to get it out of my system. I have been surprised how much these little things turning up have just been tearing me up inside. Mostly, it's just books, for crying out loud. It's been very personal though- grief always is, I suppose- and I haven't wanted to share it all with my family. So I keep putting it up here for complete strangers to see, figuring at some point, maybe someone in my family will see it, and at that point, maybe it won't be so painful as it is now, but rather a wistful, wonderful reminder of grandma.
All this digging around through grandma's stuff brought up memories of grandpa though, and last night, I was dreaming about him. Those are always very precious dreams to me. Both of my grandfathers died when I was ten, so my memories of them are special, and when they show up in a dream- which is seldom- the experience is almost mystical. For one thing, when I see my grandpa in a dream, I usually know right away that I'm dreaming, so holding onto the dream is difficult, but it's usually etched into my memory when I wake up.
This one was helped by the fact that after the several hours at the storage shed with my mom and aunt yesterday, I stopped by the comic shop on my way home. Near the checkout counter, Ed (my LCS owner) had a stack of boxes of gums, and one of those gums was Juicy Fruit. When I was little, grandpa (on mom's side) always had a pack of Juicy Fruit in his shirt pocket, and every time we went for a visit, I was begging him for gum. I always got a stick or two of gum out of him before I left. And though I've kind of lost the taste for it over the years, Juicy Fruit holds a fond place in my heart as a symbol of my grandfather. That and "Toooo much Fonzie," but that's a story for another time.
So this dream last night. I'm at a doorway, and my grandfather is dressed in familiar colors: dark blue work pants, and a light blue button up shirt. Only instead of the familiar work shirts that probably had snaps instead of buttons, this was a crisp, clean, dress shirt. His hair was neatly combed (which is strange now that I think about it, because grandpa was bald at the top, with hair only wreathing his head around the sides and back) and he actually looked a little younger than I remember him. He was down on one knee, and oh how he was smiling at me, like he was so glad to see me, and God, was I glad to see him. I hovered at the doorway to get a good look at him, maybe half realizing that this was a dream and I'd better get a good look before it was done. But man, even though I was at adult height in the dream, all I wanted to do was run into his arms like I did as a kid, and bury my head in his neck, and soak up the smell of grandpa: Juicy Fruit, Marlboro cigarettes, probably a little sweat from work, and likely a hint of Old Spice [go ahead, whistle the jingle tune- it'll make you feel good]...
I woke up before I could do that. It's okay though- like I said, it's etched into my memory, and a little bit of grandpa's love goes a long ways towards shoring me up for the grief of losing grandma. Whether Divine gift or just a manifestation of my subconscious mind, I don't really care. I needed that dream. More than I knew.
As always, thanks for reading, and thanks for bearing with me in my time of grief. Hopefully, that'll draw to a close soon, and I can get on with the other business of life. Love you all, to one degree or another, even though we're just blips on a screen to each other. We're also fellow humans, and dangit, sometimes that should be enough. See you next time.
Until then, here's a few more of those odd things I found yesterday. Enjoy.