A True Vermonter…

5 Jan

Yesterday we lost a True Vermonter.

A True Vermonter is someone who lives life the old ways. Who always walked to school (usually uphill, BOTH ways). Who thinks you are being a baby if you shudder at the thought of 20 degree weather. A True Vermonter has a backbone made of solid steel and knows that no matter how bleak things look, eventually they’ll get better…”So buck up and deal with it”.

Grampa R died yesterday at 3:05 p.m.

He was surrounded by his family, but wasn’t allowed to go peacefully in his own bed. Instead he was drugged senseless in the hospital’s ICU ward, a fact that still bothers me, even though I was grateful that he was able to be with those he loved in his final hours.

Grampa R had huge hands even though he was short in stature. He was a farmer and logger all his life, which is why his hands became so large and rough. When he held my son 4 days after his birth I was surprised at the fact that even though those hands were large enough to hold an 8 lb baby with only one hand, Grampa R treated him like he was the most delicate object he’d ever touched.

He loved children. He adopted 1 with his first wife (who later died of cancer) and 2 more with Gram R. Every time we went down to visit we could see his eyes lighting up at the sight of his two great-grandchildren. Even when he was drugged extremely heavily on Wednesday, his parting words to us…his LAST words to us, were “Bring the kids down sometime”.

I had the explain to Toad that his great-grampa is gone. He said he understood, but he didn’t cry, and at first I thought maybe I was raising the next Jeffrey Dahlmer. Instead I’ve learned that kids deal with things their own ways, and that six is still a young age to understand about the permanency of death.

Tonight Toad and Babygirl are going to my mom’s to sleepover and Scott, my SIL and BIL and myself are going to take my SIL out for her birthday supper (she had a rotten birthday last year too, so we’re trying to salvage what part of it we can.)

I plan on having a drink and raising it in his honor, as there are very few True Vermonters left.

Goodbye Grampa R….we’ll all miss you.


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