It’s been a long week.
Two days ago, I was working late and I had a call from my Aunt Kathy, my dad’s oldest sister in the mainland. A long-distance call during the middle of the day. I was hesitant to pick up.
My grandpa passed away this past Wednesday morning in his sleep. He was my last grandparent. It’s deep to think that I’m missing that generation in my family.
Grandpa, I love you and I hope your soul has found its home in heaven after such wonderful years spent here on earth.
Stephen Arthur Loftus
My dad’s parents live on the mainland but came to visit us often on the big island. They always sent us the best Christmas presents. Some years were tougher than others and we didn’t expect much on our birthdays or holidays, but we were always excited to see what Grandpa and Grandma Loftus sent in the mail. They never forgot a birthday and would send a big cardboard box full of gifts and love for Christmas. I remember when I was 8, and like any normal 8 year old I dreamed of being a world-famous author. I kept asking and asking for a typewriter so I could start my first novel. And that Christmas, they sent me a toy typewriter, a super good one. I used it for so long that the ribbon ran out and I would mark the keys with a marsh pen and type quickly before it dried out. But that typewriter was more than toy to me. It was a magical ticket and proof that my grandparents believed I could do anything I dreamed of.
I’ll remember his blue blue eyes and his intelligence. He was such a smart man. He graduated from Princeton and was recruited to work with the government. I think he thought I was smarter than I really was. I went to Boston College but he had his heart set on me going to Harvard from when I was just a little girl. Boy, I wish. He may have gotten older but his mind had not dulled. One time he called me “Genesis,” my younger sister’s name. We look alike so people always slip-up. I corrected him and he quickly retorted “I know, it was a joke.” Grandpa wasn’t everyday people, I should have known.
He had been suffering from emphysemia for years now and it was hard to hear him talk over the phone. Breathing sounded like a chore. I still should have called him more. When my auntie told me he was gone, I thought about all those phone calls I never returned. All the times I was too busy or working and never picked up the phone. I’m so thankful that I talked to him on New Years. Even now, the tears start as I think of how I can’t just pick up the phone any time I want and hear his voice, see what he was planning to do this afternoon, tell him I love him. But I’m so thankful that I did pick up that phone on New Years, that I didn’t brush it aside with the thought “I’ll call him back later.” Thank you for that. Thank you, God, for taking him home and giving him peace.
And I’ll be praying for my Aunt Kathy, my dad’s oldest sister. She lost her son just two months ago at Thanksgiving and now she’s lost her father. God, be her comfort and hold her hand.