Saturday, October 04, 2008

Tony Capozzi (Oct 28, 1912 - Oct 4, 2008)


I lost my absolute best friend in the world this morning.

I dont talk about my grandfather too much on these pages. If you've been around here for any length of time, you've no doubt heard me make mention of him, but for the most part, I've kept my relationship with him to myself.

Why? I honestly don't know. I can tell you that it was a consious decision on my part to not write about him much. I guess, in the recesses of my mind, with his health failing rapidly in the past 2 years, I felt that if I spoke about him and his worsening condition, I would somehow jinx him and shorten his time left with me. Don't mention the devil and he won't knock on your door... that kind of thing.

I should have spoken about him more.

I lived with my grandfather until I was 28 years old, before I decided to strike it out in an apartment on my own. It was a hard decision since he and I were always so close. Since that time, I have spent virtually every free Saturday I have had, with him. Most times we would just go out to eat, or I'd take him for a haircut, or sometimes, we'd just go and sit by the ocean watching the boats roll by. It was important for him to be able to get out a bit, since when his health started to fail he could no longer do these things by himself. And it was important for me, as well. I needed to stay close to him.

My grandfather lived through the Great Depression, so I could always excuse him for being the cheapest man alive. But as stingy as he was with his money, he was always the one to take me by the hand and drive me to 20 different toy stores until I found whatever piece of crap toy he saw that I wanted. He wouldn't spend a red cent on himself, but he never failed to do whatever he could to put a smile on my face.

My grandfather was a bull of a man. During the War he was working in a factory that made army boots, and his hand got caught in the gears of one of the machines. It mangled 4 of the fingers of his left hand beyond repair, and all his life I never heard him complain once about his handicap. Once, during the 60's, he was hit by a speeding car while he was walking across a street in Brookyln. He landed 20 feet away, and refused medical treatment, opting instead to just walk home while insisting to the crowd that he was just fine. Before he had his pace maker put in 2 years ago, he hadn't set foot in a hospital in over 40 years.

The past 2 months have been pretty bad for him. He had been in and out of the hospital since late July. My mother and I have been at his bedside pretty much every night since he was admitted.

He was clearly failing. One day (one of his bad ones) he looked at me, and in an uncharacterisitcally depressed tone asked me, "Why am I still here? Everyone I know is gone. Why is God doing this to me?". All I had to do was to show him a picture of his Great Grandson. He looked at me and said, "Right. Ok. I got to know my great grandson. That IS something."

And he DID bounce back, at least a little. Two weeks ago, defying every doctor who saw him, he improved enough for us to take him home.

If I was the apple of my Grandfather's eye, my SON was the whole bushel. Here's my grandfather holding my 1 month old son:


Last Sunday, as he and I sat around watching TV, I once again rummaged through his apartment looking for an old picture of him that I had seen once when I was a boy, and have been trying to find for the past 6 months or so. I remember seeing it when I was young, and marvelling at how young and proud my grandfather and grandmother had looked in the picture.

20 minutes before I left him for what was to be the last time I ever would see him, I FINALLY found the picture:


I'm very thankful that I was finally able to find this picture, and that on our last day together, we sat comfortably side by side and spent hours looking through old photos of friends and family long gone that my grandfather is as of today beginning his journey to meet again.

I just read this over, and I feel like just scrapping the whole damn thing. These words simply do not do my grandfather justice. He was everything to me, and everything that I am, or will ever aspire to be, I owe to him.

I think I need to take a break from writing for a bit. I need to assess and come to grips with everything that's happened today, and what life without him will be like. Besides, any of my lame attempts at jokes or silly stories would just seem hollow to my ears right now. Please forgive me if I likewise don't visit too many of your awesome blogs for a bit. I promise I'll come back to you all as soon as I'm able.

I love you Grandpa.

36 comments:

Sunshine said...

I am sooo very sorry for your loss... your time with your grandfather is and was special, hold it in your heart! Those are the times you cannot make up or hope for , you lived it! Know in your heart his time with you was true and dear in his heart along with getting the opportunity to see you grow and becoem a dad. It is a very hearfelt time and with time you willcherish the lasting memories you had with your grandfather and will be able to pass on the memories to your son....
hus and kisses

Steph Waller said...

I'm so sorry for this profound loss. It's cliche to say that there's nothing that anyone can say at this time, and I'm at a loss for words that might help you. Nothing could, anyway. Just know that my thoughts are with you.

Your son is adorable!

Ali said...

When you love someone as much as you so obviously love your grandpa, there never ARE words meaningful enough, poignant enough, or expressive enough to explain it to anyone in a way they would understand. It's something only you can feel.
But know, the words you've written here today are beautiful, and your grandpa knows how you felt, which is the most important of all.

You are in my thoughts, and I'd hug you if I could.

And that picture of your grandparents is priceless, treasure it always.

Mrs. Hall said...

My heart goes out to you.

Your Grandfather must have been a mighty man. And so full of love for you. It is so fortunate that your son met him. This post described him so well. Make no mistake of that.

Mrs. Hall said...

o-one more thing...

((hugs))

Mrs. Hall

Chris H said...

You and your Grandfather were lucky ... so very lucky, to have each other, and to love each other so much. Your wee son no doubt mean the world to him too.... I am so sorry for your loss, but just know that your Grandfather has gone on to a better place now. Be happy for him, it's what life is all about. I hope you can get through the next few days without too much heartache. Thinking of you ... {{{HUGS}}}.

that gypsy girl said...

Oh Slyde!

Take your time. You will be in my heart.
I hope you find some comfort in the days to come.

Godspeed, Grandpa...

Marie said...

What a wonderful well written tribute to your grandfather.

I wish you family peace in this time.

teeni said...

Oh, that is awful, just awful! I'm so sorry to hear this news. Words can never do any human beings' life justice, so don't worry about the post, Slyde - your emotion and love for your grandfather comes shining right through. I'm really very sorry that he won't be here anymore but I am happy that you had each other in this world. It sounds like you two had such a wonderful relationship and I'm sure his loss leaves a hole in your heart. I will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers as you comfort each other and adjust to his absence. Hugs to you!

Chris said...

Sorry for your loss as well.
Hold your memories close to your heart, and look at those pictures to remind yourself of the good times.

I lost my of my grandpas far too young. They were both in their late 60's when they passed.

Michelle J said...

Slyde, i'd like to share this poem with you! It was read at my 95 year old great aunts funeral and it really comforted me a great deal! I hope it does for you too!!

I am very sorry about your grandpa! He sounds like an amazing man and you too are quite amazing my friend!!!

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.

( . )( . ) said...

:( I hope we see you back here soon.

the loss of a loved one can be devastating, try and remember all the good stuff. The stuff that makes you smile and laugh and how much you loved him.

I would be lost without my grandparents

xx

Caz said...

Slyde....
Ya... there really is nothing that can be said, is there?
It doesn't matter how old someone is, or whether on not you expected it, if you love someone, their passing is agony.
I still feel like I've been punched in the stomach every time i think of my gran. But I guess that's a tribute to the relationship we shared and the same obv goes for you guys. I have no words of comfort, just thinking of you in this hollow time.

Tamara said...

My heart is hurting for you, friend. Sending much love and all my hugs across the miles.

sweets said...

Slyde i wish i could give you a hug right now. that was an awesome post bud really... brought tears to my eyes...

my thoughts are with you all the way, strongs to you and your family ((hugs))

B.E. Earl said...

95 years is a great long life. And he was lucky enough to have you occupy the last 40 of those years.

See you later today.

2abes said...

So sorry to hear this...every grand parent should be so lucky to have a grand child such as yourself...and every grand child should be so lucky to have a grand parent such as your grand father.

Cuz said...

I am SO sorry for your loss.

I am crying as I read your story about Uncle Tony.

He will be missed!

xoxo
Cuz

Bruce said...

You can't sum up a whole persons life and what they ment to you in a blog. I have tried and it is never easy.

This was a very good read and all of us can understand what you are going through and what you have lost after reading it.

I have come to realize that as I get older and the generation before us passes away at an ever increasing rate, that they have seen and learned so much, and they are slipping away before we have a chance to learn all we can from them.

Of course we miss them, loss is like that. But I sometimes hate myself for not listening and trying to understand more before they go, which is what your blog reminds me of.

You will see similar sentiments in the peice that I wrote two years ago when my father passed away.

I am sad for your loss. I am sad for all of us and what we are loosing every day.

http://lotus07rant.blogspot.com/2005/08/void.html

Paige Stanton said...

I'm sorry for your loss, my thoughts are with you. Hugs to you.

Judy said...

This is the first time I read your blog and I cried. I am sorry for your loss and happy for you that you had him in your life!

honeywine said...

I adore that picture. He looks like a stud. That must be where you get it. I'm sorry you've had to lose him though. :( At least, your son could meet him.

Ruby said...

oh sweety...I'm so so so sorry:( but i'm really glad that you'll have plenty of fond memories to look back on, and that the last hours spent with him were pleasant and probably his favourite way of spending his time. Here are lots and lots of hugs coming your way.......hang in there!

Denise said...

I am so so sorry for your loss! Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful man. It's hard when we lose loved ones but always remember that he is still right there with you even if you can't see him.

Also, your son is ADORABLE!!!!!!

Letty Cruz said...

oh no I'm so sorry for your loss baby :(

he's beautiful, much much love and I'm sure he is and will be watching over you all your days, and hey may even rejoin you and us again, this world needs all the old souls it can get back right now. ((((HUG))))

Letty Cruz said...

I just finished reading your post. You did do him justice. You made me cry, at least, and thanks for posting that beautiful photo of him and your grandma, WHOA, they were naturally sexy :)

Take all the time you need to just chill out (((LOVE)))

AlleyCat said...

Deepest, deepest Condolences. Thanks for sharing your Grandpa with us. RIP.

Bina said...

Oh Slyde, I am so very sorry. And I can certainly tell from your words how very much you loved him and how very much you will miss him.

Again, I'm so sorry.

James said...

Hi Slyde, this is the first time I visited your blog so of course this post about your grandad hit me like a wall.

I am so sorry mate. You obviously had a pretty good relationship with him though which is something priceless, and he kept his marbles right to the end which is a blessing.

Easy to see you loved him a lot.

i am the diva said...

that was a lovely tribute. i'm sorry for your loss slyde. hugs to you and yours

mr zig said...

I'm sorry for your loss -

As for what you wrote, it was a great post, and showed a truly great man. Of course you're right - in a situation words just don't tell it like it is... but yours did a pretty good job of it :) -

All the best to you during your period of grief...

latindog said...

A very moving post, Slyde. I feel I know your grandfather a little better from reading it -- he sounds like he was a great man and a great influence on you -- the way he cared about you whenyou were a child sounds a lot like your posts about your relationship with your son. Once again, I am very sorry for your loss.

Jon said...

My thoughts are with you mate.

That was a very touching story, he truly does sound like a great man.

I hope you feel better in due course. Rest assured he will be looking down over you and that you will see him again.

God bless.

Also thank you very much for taking the time to welcome me back.

Jon.

Slyde said...

Thanks so much for all these kinds words, guys....

theres just no way to reply to each of you in kind, but thanks just the same....

Calder said...

A little late in coming here but I am here now to say that I am sorry for your loss. Peace and love to you and yours!

Slyde said...

caldar: its never too late.. thanks.