Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sparkle Pond is Getting Crowded

Yesterday marked the passing of my final Grandparent, Harold Dwight Fitch.

I know this much: I was fortunate, lucky, and blessed to have my Grandparents in my life for as long as I did. All of them were around until I was into my 30s. They all lived to be in their 90s, and each one of them was of sound mind until the very end.

And Grandpa Fitch was the last of them all.

I will miss everything about my Grandpa. Everything. To know him was to love him -- just ask anyone who knew him. He was just Special.

Grandma and Grandpa Fitch
in front of their house in Titusville, PA

Grandpa and I seemed to love all the same things: Art and Drawing. Birds. Music, especially Jazz. Coffee. Animals (though not necessarily cats, and not necessarily Rabbits. When he met Zoe, however, he told her she was safe-- much too soft for a stew. Oh, Grandpa!). Ice Cream. Learning new things.

Oh, and we both loved Grandma.

Throughout my life, those were the subjects we always came back to.

Of course, there were some other things that he liked that weren't necessarily my thing: Math for one thing (he was an engineer). Also fishing. (I don't not like fishing exactly, but...)

Grandpa with a prized Something-
Fish. Bass? I don't know my fish.

Well, and Organ Music isn't my favorite either, but when Grandpa would sit down and start playing "Ain't She Sweet" I couldn't help but love it. He played by ear. I always thought this was the coolest thing in the world.

Me and my sister with Grandma and Grandpa
(I'm the cute and adorable baby. Apparently, I looked
drunk in pictures then, too.)

I loved staying at Grandma's and Grandpa's house when I was little. I was there a lot.

My parents were both teachers, so before I was old enough to start school, I went to Grandma's house everyday when my parents went off to school. My dad would drop me off on his way, and I would get there just before Grandpa would head off to work.

I loved that time in the mornings. I would run in their house, put on Grandpa's slippers and hat and go straight to the cupboard where the cookie jar lived, where many mornings "The Mousie" (a.k.a. Grandpa) would have left me a little note telling me not to eat all his cookies!

On Sunday, when I went to visit him, just two days ago, he said to me, "Remember that Mousie? He used to try to get your food, didn't he?"

"He sure did, Grandpa," I said. "But I think he usually gave up and let me eat it anyway."

When I would sleep over on weekends, we would watch Lawrence Welk together while Grandpa smoked his pipe and he and Grandma told me every little detail about all the performers on the show. They knew everything about those people! It was amazing!

Oh, and we watched a lot of cartoons. Grandpa loved Tom and Jerry and the Flintstones, Woody Woodpecker and Bugs Bunny. That Roadrunner and Wiley Coyote made him laugh every time.

Grandpa and Me enjoying some after-dinner coffee.
We have the same haircut in this picture.

I could go on for pages. I could probably fill a book with all my memories. And those would only be some of them. He was one of the most wonderful people I've ever known. I'm just lucky that he was also my Grandpa and that I got to spend so much time with him. And, that he loved me.

He was the one who nicknamed me "Frog" from a shirt I used to wear. The Chick never calls me anything but Frog to this day. I am Aunt Frog to my niece, and my sister calls me Frog, too.

If I were a Frog at Sparkle Pond (akin to a Fly on the Wall), I would get to see what Grandpa's up to now. My guess is that he's out on a boat (away from all the previously arrived cats of ours) and he's fishing and enjoying himself. When he's caught a few, he'll go to wherever he and Grandma call home now, and fry those fish up for dinner along with some onions.

For desert, they'll have an ice cream sundae.

Someday, I'll get to share ice cream with them both again. Not that I'm in a hurry. If I follow suit, I have about 50-60 years left in this life.

But, someday, I'll be at their house again, eating ice cream and watching reruns of Lawrence Welk while Grandma shakes her head saying, "Listen to Myron play that accordion, Harold," and Grandpa counts out, "And-a-one, and-a-two" in his best Lawrence Welk (Austrian?) accent.

I can hear it now.


StorytellERdoc said...

Just beautiful, M. Sorry for your loss, but what a loving tribute and with such amazing memories to share, he will always still be around.

Debra She Who Seeks said...

My condolences, Marcy. He sounds like a great guy and a wonderful Grandpa! It's clear that you blessed each other's lives tremendously. You know, some PBS stations still carry the Lawrence Welk show, with little interviews and updates on some of the performers who are with us yet.

Art D. said...

This is a wonderfully written tribute to him.You are in our thoughts and prayers Much love from us and Derby

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful guy, and a lovely relationship between you. (And no wonder he loved you so, you were such a cute baby!) This is quite a tribute, and now we can see where you get some of your specialness from.

Love and peace to you dear one.

Anonymous said...

Oh, Lisa, did you nail this on the head. Grandpa is EXACTLY where my Frog got her Special. Her kind heart, her infinite patience, her silly, her ear for music (she too can play that way), and her love of ice cream and cookies. :)

Heather Plett said...

What a beautiful remembering!

Blessings to you in your grief.

Anonymous said...

A wonderful tribute to your Grandpa!

I am SO sorry for your loss. May wonderful memories like you've shared here continue to bring you comfort.

Yes, you were blessed indeed by his presence and long life. Special grandparents like this are a gift.

Love the photos that you shared. :) (He resembled my maternal grandpa, who died when I was 3 months old.)

Hugs of comfort and peace to you and yours...

Miles said...

Absolutely beautiful Marcy :)

Emma said...

Wonderful tribute! Just beautiful to read and get to know your grandpa a little bit.

karmacoy said...

How fortunate you are to have such wonderful memories of your Grandfather. It's obvious to see what a huge impact you had on each others lives.

May peace and comfort embrace your loss and sorrow.

Kavindra said...

In case you are wondering "who is this Lisa who leaves comments?" it is I, Kavindra. Blogger is gone fluey on me! It is sometimes posting my comments under someone else's blog methinks, with the same first name as me...

Svasti said...

Hi Marcy, your memories of your grandpa and grandma are beautiful! You were definitely lucky but then I'd say they were lucky, too.

Best wishes at this sad time. xo

leel said...

hugs to you. losing a grandparent is hard. grieving isnt soo fun. that being said, its so nice seeing the pictures of the wonderful life well lived. thanks for sharing.

Jeanne Klaver said...

Oh Marcy, this is the most beautiful tribute I've ever read; I have tears in my eyes. Am playing catch-up with blogs today, so I'm sorry I missed this. I hope you're getting through it okay. Once again, your grandpa is smiling in heaven after seeing this tribute from you.

Laura Hegfield said...

Marcy, I'm so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to say goodbye to someone we love. My grandparents have all been gone a long time now, but all remain "alive' and guide me through memory and dreams.

may it always be so for you too.