wolffe: (southern breeze ranch)
[personal profile] wolffe

My Granddad on my Dad's side passed away Monday afternoon. The visitation is tomorrow, funeral on Saturday. I'll be heading to Alabama tomorrow after picking up my sister.

Lamar Cedric Kelly, Sr. continues to be an enigma to me. I never really knew him. He was the strongest man I've ever met. His grip was painful, and he loved to teach all of his grandchildren how a horse ate corn. It made every one of us giggle.

During my lifetime he was kind and aloof with me. I've heard stories from my Dad's childhood that paint a very scary picture. He was definitely an old-school thinker with discipline. Come to think of it, I haven't heard many stories at all of my Granddad when he was younger. Although my Grandmother, when she was alive, liked to tell of how he ruined her childhood home by storing corn in it. He would chuckle during her telling and say that the floor was rotten before he put the corn in and she would harrumph while the rest of us tried very hard to keep a straight face.

He had gone to live with my uncle, in Indiana. My Grandmother's death hit him hard and he lost senility quickly. Within a few months he asked to leave the home they had shared because it confused him that she wasn't there. My uncle cared for him the best he could, but it was too much and recently he was put into a nursing home.

Dad went up last week and visited with him. Saw how poorly he was doing and took him back out of the nursing home. He was arranging something else for him when he died. I have a theory that people give up on life when they're put into a nursing home. It's not often a choice happily made.

Up until the end he was asking for his truck. An old, beat up red thing that is a twin to the one in that picture. We had hidden his keys from him long ago, but every so often he'd find them. The last time, he backed the truck into the propane gas storage tank. With the truck at an odd angle and the bumper solidly connected to the tank, he stood outside and insisted he hadn't hit it. He is probably where I got my stubborn streak.

This is how I remember him best. The recliner changed over the years but nothing else did. Behind the photographer is the TV, more likely than not with a Braves game on.

Goodbye Granddad. I can't say you were a horribly influential part of my life, but I can say you made an indelible impression on me. I will remember you for the strength of your hands and your easy chuckle.

April 2017


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