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Monday, June 16, 2008

Death of a Semi-Hero

June 16, 2008
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8:30 a.m.
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My Grandfather died
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Earl Parker Duell was not a perfect person. He lived his life wide open with all his faults for the world to see. He raised eyebrows with his gruffness. He angered a few people along the way. He spoke his mind, and did not much care about offending. He was a genius when it came to interpersonal dialogue, decision making, family dynamics, finance and economics, car buying, someone else's cooking, the best shows on television, short changing a sucker, politics, local news, horse racing, beating the law, and morals. He also knew how to point a mean finger.
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He evoked discomfort in family members or was it just that he demanded attention and respect. You listened to him whether you wanted to or not. To visit him was a challenge if you held any sort of opinion, because it was often wrong. Arguing with Earl was an elusive exercise, since he had already won before you entered the door. His house, his rules. Well it wasn't limited to his house, so long as you knew that in advance. As you can imagine, he was difficult. And many of my family had a hard time dealing with and understanding him.
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My father likes to say that I got all the worst qualities of both sides of the family. I'll have to defer to his wisdom, because he happens to be right. Lucky me, I have a lot of my grandfather in me. This is my mother's father and the last of my grandparents to 'go home.' I like to think I'm the lucky one in the family. I understood my grandfather. That does not mean I always liked the man - 'cause he was difficult. But I was never afraid of him. Unlike most of my family, I was able to speak my mind right back to him. I think he secretly enjoyed it. I know my grandmother did, because she would sit in her chair in the corner and just giggle at me. Once she passed away (several years back), gramps started his downward spiral. He wanted to go quick, but something in him (his pacemaker) kept him ticking. This morning, one last dose of painkiller was all it took... and he peacefully slipped away. He would say "dead, is dead." I pray for him that he is wrong and I ask that you do the same for me.
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I'm holding up fine right now, but not for much longer. I will miss him terribly. I loved our arguments and our sharing of experiences. I will miss shaking his hand hello and kissing his forehead good-bye. He was my Grandfather and my Friend. I love ya gramps. You can watch over me now! (yep, I lost it)

10 comments:

McTagh said...

Oh, Thomas...I am so sorry. I know how much you loved him. Your love oozed out whenever you talked about him. And, because of that I loved listening to your stories about him.

My mom's dad died when I was in my twenties and my dad's father died when he was 12.

You are lucky that you had him for such a long time; and
I am SURE that he has gone to heaven just so he can watch over the one who was most like him, YOU!!!

Please continue sharing those great stories about him with me when you are ready.

Love you.

M

Thomas said...

well lookie there... my grandfather dies and I finally get my Iceland dot that I've been wanting on my cluster map. Coinkidink? Probably, but I'll think of it as a grampy gift.

Kelly said...

Here is the typical... 'hang in there'...'our thoughts are with you'... but seriously, sorry about your loss...

Jadielady said...

*hugs* I am sorry for your loss Thomas, I know how much you love him.
I know you said he didn't want any kind of service, but I do hope you can get a few days to go see your family, and visit his resting place.

JOEY said...

Thomas- I am so very sorry for your loss. I adore my Gramps and would be devastated to lose him.

JJ said...

:(

Thinking about you...

idiotboy said...

My prayers are with you bud.. I wish you the best of luck in this time... Let me know if there's anything I can do.

Breenlantern said...

my sincere condolences.

karen said...

What a lovely tribute. I'm so very sorry for your loss, Thomas.

bobmitchellinthe21stcentury said...

Those were nice words man, condolences to you