Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Holding Back

Well, yesterday, I was able to control my WoW cravings and didn't log in for more than a minute. Of course, my current server, Suramar, was down all day, and I only logged in on my little Pally, Daxenos, to see if any Pox Redux toons had moved on.

On a more serious note, I've been holding back some information from you, my faithful readers. I'm really a Klingon...no, that wasn't it. Actually, on May 22, my maternal grandfather passed away at the ripe old age of 88.

So, this Friday is his memorial service in Southern California, and I'll be flying out there for the day (leave Indy at 6 am, arrive back at 5:47 am Sat).

I will now attempt to write out just what Poppa meant to me; forgive me if it's a bit jumbled.

Of all the father figures in my life, I think Poppa made the biggest impression on me. No, I didn't spend a great quantity of time around him, but I always held him in high respect and, since my own father left my mom when I was pretty young, feel like I learned a lot about being a real man from him.

There was no beating around the bush with Poppa; he said what he meant and meant what he said. He didn't sugar coat things or try to soften reality. He always gave it to you straight; I guess you could say he was brutally honest before the phrase became part of the vernacular. He also didn't do a lot of yakking, so when he did speak, you tended to listen up.

Of course, he had a great sense of humor, and it seemed that he always had a twinkle in his eye. Even when he had to correct me (he never spanked me - that was my mom's job...lol), he would usually just say something like, "Are you going to play with that trowel all day or actually do some work with it?" Simple, but effective.

One of the things that I learned recently (within the last 15 years or so) from Poppa was faithfulness. According to my mom, who was much closer to the situation, Nana and Poppa were in a difficult marriage with most of the blame being put on Nana. I saw my grandfather stay faithful to my grandmother until death did them part.

But that's not the kicker. For the last few years of Nana's life, she had Alzheimer's, and Poppa bore the lion's share of the burden of caring for her. He refused to put her in a nursing home, and as a result, his health deteriorated quite a bit. I will always remember my grandfather's example and standard that he has left for me regarding commitment and marriage.

Another sign of the respect that I held for Poppa was the fact that I seriously considered changing my last name to Erisman to more closely associate myself with him and his side of the family. I didn't end up changing my name, but I am definitely proud to be part of his posterity and the Erisman's rich heritage.

I can't really remember the last time I spoke or saw him, but I do wish now that I would have taken the time to keep in contact. And in this, he teaches me another lesson.

I'll miss him.

William "Bill" Erisman
Oct 30, 1920 - May 22, 2009
R.I.P.

EDIT: Link to obit.

1 comment:

Robin said...

I am sorry for your loss. You and your family will be in our thoughts.
Again, I am sorry....