Death is never easy, and we make it that way out of selfish indulgences. i’m not saying this as a negative thing. Sometimes you have to make things about yourself. Funerals aren’t for the dead, they are for the living. We ask ourselves how we are ever going to go on without our brother, mother, spouse…
The closest person that I have ever lost was my Grandfather. He was my father’s father and I called him Gumba. Everyone in my family always told me that it was “good friend” in Italian. After looking it up on Google Translate, I’ve determined that they are liars. My Gumba had a lung disease that he developed from working in a carbide plant without the proper safety devices for many years. He was on an oxygen tank 24/7.
I had just turned 7 when I lost him.
Gumba was everything to me. My parents worked a lot, and he was my built-in baby sitter. He lived three houses up the street.
- He taught me to read.
- He taught me all of the states and their capitals.
- He taught me to ride my bike without training wheels.
- He taught me how to count coins and wrap them for the bank.
- He taught me that even if you are sick, you can still laugh and play and learn and love.
He taught me that when Plinko was on The Price is Right, it was a lucky day. That’s why
when I sat down today in front of the television and saw Drew Carey describing the rules of the game, a smile instantly spread across my face. The contestant won $10,100.
People tell me that he was a hard ass that didn’t take shit from anyone. The photo I keep of him playing tea party with me begs to differ.
I still think about him often. It has been almost 18 years. The price of love might be death. But to me, that price is right.