This is the last part of my Grandpa’s small memoir that he recorded before he died. Reading the whole thing, I can’t say I knew him very well… but he and my Granny made a huge impression on me when I was young that I still think about very often, even today. More on my Granny another time, there is too much for me to say. Anyway, here is the excerpt:
” About this time, that is, 1987 Tom met and married Laura Butler in Sonoma. Two beautiful girl twins (fraternal) came along eventually, (Ashley and Erika) to enhance our lives. They were followed by Claire who was as challenging as you could imagine.
In 1995 our consulting careers ended and with that our ambitions and, I believe, our pride and confidence. Health problems rule. Our friends are plagued by health problems.
Time passes remarkably fast, much faster than before. We run to stay in one place.
I have developed a philosophy which, I believe, is very simple; namely, the Ten Commandments condensed to avoid the religious references i.e. “remember the Sabbath to keep it holy,” etc. I am an atheist, not an antitheist. These are six items including “do unto others”, etc. I can run you a copy if you want one. Perhaps we need religion because we are all afraid of living.
Along with the above, I have adopted an attitude of forgiving myself for acts and words I regret to varying degrees including profoundly. It is very hard to do! Also, I value the things I DIDN’T say.
We seem to be alone, but many others around us also seem to be alone. We seem to be waiting for the unexpected and inevitable. (An oxymoron?)
Old people are a dime-a-dozen! “
The last words of his succinct autobiography were, “old people are a dime-a-dozen!”
I was holding his hand when he died, I’ll never forget it as long as I live. He was trying to tell me something, he tried writing it down (I still have that paper), he tried saying it but the words wouldn’t form into a sound… and then he finally gave up. I try not to dwell on that and for the most part, I don’t… I’ve come to terms. But sometimes the what-ifs get to me and I wish I knew what he needed to tell me.