April 1st, 2009

grandpa

If I had something to say

The nightmares could stop any time now. That'd be okay. Memo to subconscious: I know that we've lost my grandpa. Thank you, subconscious. Yes. I am aware. This is like all of electromagnetism disappeared on me one Monday afternoon. It is not something I can forget. I know that I am worried sick about several other people close to me, sometimes even for good, solid reasons. What I do not need, o subconscious, is a set of constant and vivid reminders of these things popping up in nightmare form. Honestly.

In case you were thinking maybe this would be a good year to pull an April Fool's prank on me: it wouldn't. I'm not sure there is a good year for that. But this is not it.

Hmm. Not a happy fun-fun entry so far. I will tell a Grandpa story. A Grandpa-and-Grandma story, but also a My Grandpa The Scandosotan Male story. One of you remembered part of it as a favorite, so I will tell the whole thing.

So Grandma was at her circle (women's group) at church, and they were talking about the parable of the Good Samaritan, I think. And the conversation circled around to one of Grandma and Mom's friends in the circle who had a nephew she loved very much. Her nephew was gay. He had killed himself. And this friend felt that maybe if her nephew's church (not the church where the circle was meeting--a church in a different state and possibly a different denomination, I don't know) had been more welcoming of him, warmer towards him, it could have been a factor in changing that outcome, in maybe making him feel more like staying in the world was a good idea. She wanted to bring it up to get people to think about how their church could be different.

Well, Grandma took this to heart. It bothered her. If I know my grandma, she was probably imagining a particular one of my gay friends reaching out to a church and being rebuffed, and that was a very disturbing thing for her. So Grandpa came to pick her up, and she got in the car and sat there thinking about it. Then without giving him background, she turned to my grandpa: "Dick, if a gay person came and sat next to you in church, what would you say?" "...'Good morning'?" ventured my grandpa. "No, but I mean, would you speak to them?" "Yah, sure," said Grandpa, baffled, "if I had something to say."