Today is the anniversary of…that day, and my new thing these last several years has been to celebrate my Pappap instead of moping / feeling sad / being depressed. He was only part of my life for 16 years, so it’s really nuts for me to grasp the idea that I’ve been living life without him longer than with him now. Damn. I can only hope that I have even half that much of an impact on someone’s life one day!
Anyway, here are three photos featuring my Pappap over the years!
This had to be us at Kennywood. I wonder what ride it was?! Henry suggested Jack Rabbit at first but I honestly can’t imagine being game to ride a rollercoaster at that age – maybe, though?? The station looks too open though, so then Henry suggested the Little Dipper. It was open until 1984 and this photo was probably from 1983 so maybe! But…I doubt it.
This may have been pre-Erin Pappap! That’s him and my MOMMY in their Gillcrest pool, which was one of my favorite places of all time. My Pappap’s pool in the summer, absolutely nothing was better. I would give anything to go back to the mid-80s for one sunny July afternoon, honestly. My Pappap didn’t go in the pool much by the time I was born, but he could ALWAYS be found sawing logs in a lawn chair.
In fact, he had his own lawn chair that no one else dared use, and I will never ever ever ever forget us attempting to normalize a Pappap-less world by celebrating someone’s birthday or some summer holiday by having a cookout/pool party like we used to, and my dad laying back in The Lawn Chair and BREAKING IT, causing my aunt Sharon to completely melt down. It was baaaaad. She wouldn’t let anyone touch the chair, it just pretty much stayed out there like a wrecked relic, making us all miss better times.
When I say my family collectively handled my Pappap’s death poorly, with handsome amounts of dysfunction and enough trauma to last several lifetimes, I’m actually downplaying it. None of us mourned his death like healthy people. I was (am??) scarred for years and years afterward to the point where I used to not even be able to THINK of him without bursting into tears, let alone talk about him like a functioning human with normal emotional health.
It was really hard when Chooch was a baby too, because I spent so much time bobbing around in my feelings, wondering if my Pappap knew that Chooch was here, wishing that Chooch could know him, needing his stability in our life.
But…I think I reached a point where I feel that he would be proud of me, and that he would approve of how I have been living my life (well, maybe starting within the last 10 years, lol). And that makes it easier for me to think about him and smile at the memories instead of sob uncontrollably.
OK enough for the heavy hoo-haw, here’s a totally groovy shot of my grandparents and people I don’t know (actually, both of those men bookending the shot looked very familiar to me though and their names are on the tip of my tongue). Is this the 60s? Early 70s? Not sure, but grandma, your hair! Woof! My grandma had some AMAZING hairstyles over this years and this was not one of them. Nope. Anyway, I feel like this was from a group vacation. Bahamas, perhaps. I think they used to go there a lot. I could ask my mom but I think she still gets upset when he comes up so I try not to talk about him too much with her. I don’t know. His death really fucked us up. You wanna talk about the glue holding a family together. We felt that.
Sorry, I didn’t intend this to get heavy! I am not sad or depressed today. I’m fine, and just wanted to share these but then the thoughts started and now here I am analyzing an irreparable situation that shouldn’t have went down the way it did, but here we are!