A Dedication to My Grandfather 3.18.2018

Today is a special day in the heart of The Bipolar Writer. It marks what would have been my grandfather’s eighty-sixth birthday. We lost him in July 2014 to cancer. I have written about my grandfather before, but he has been on my mind a lot lately. I know my mother misses him so much, so I decided to write this blog post.

To My Grandfather – Constantine Taniyo

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My Grandfather

My grandfather was a fantastic man, and he was born Constantine Taniyo on March 18, 1932, in Hawaii. I remember the stories he told me about where he was during Pearl Harbor. I remember as a kid in the first grade wearing my grandfather’s United States Army uniform to class for a project. My grandfather spent so many years in the military, and he was a hard worker.

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He was a generous man. My grandfather always helped out my mother, his grandchildren, and his great grandchildren.

When I was growing up if I needed something (or if I wanted something) he was always there for me. As a kid, I remember coming home from school, and my grandfather would  be there with a candy bar (it was a Mr. Goodbar for me.) During the summer months when my grandfather retired, he would always take us kids to the mall. I remember walking around and then going to McDonald’s for a big mac.

I was always close to my Grandfather growing up. When he got cancer, it was the worst possible thing, at least in my view. They gave my grandfather months to live, but he was a fighter.

One of my fondest memories were at the holidays. My mother and grandfather would always fight over everything, but especially how to cook the food. Every holiday they would be at one another’s throats. By the time the meal was prepared, they would makeup and the food was always fantastic.

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My mom, grandfather, and grandmother

I was close to my grandfather most of my life. For the last year that he was with us, I took care of him as he battled cancer. I made sure he made his appointments by driving him. When the home health nurses came, I was always there to let them into our house. I made sure that they took good care of him. I made sure my grandfather took his medication, and I also made sure he ate three meals a day or as much as he could. I was still a full-time student, but I always made time to meet my grandfather’s needs.

It was one of the worse experiences in my life when my grandfather passed away on July 3, 2014. I went deep into a depression cycle afterward that lasted to early 2015. It was tough for me because for most of the year leading to his passing he was always in good spirits. He was active even though he had to spend most of his time in bed.

My grandfather took a turn for the worst one day. It was so quick, as a family, we didn’t have time to breathe. One day he was okay, and then a few days later he was unresponsive. My grandfather died in his sleep. I am not sure I ever got over losing my grandfather.

It was a week later that we were burying my grandfather.

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I remember how sad it made me feel that day. As if I could have done something to save my grandfather. I know that I have no control over cancer.

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I thought for one, I would have more time with my grandfather. My second thought was it happened too fast. I lost him. I didn’t even get to say goodbye. There were times when I didn’t think I would make it leading up to the day of his funeral. I was a mess inside lost in thought of what ifs, and what comes next.

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That day I thought a lot about the lost years of my diagnosis. The time I was seclusive and never spent time with my grandfather. The missed years with him will always haunt me.

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It was tough for me because I was a few years removed from my last suicide. I didn’t think I would make past my previous suicide in 2010, and when I did, I had a new appreciation for life. I know that death is inevitable in all our lives. You are not supposed to outlive your parents or grandparents.

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My Grandfather and his sister

I wasn’t in the best place to deal with death when it happened in my life. I was too young to remember my grandmother’s passing.

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Grandfather and Grandmother

For weeks and even months after we lay to rest my grandfather, I struggled in a deep depression cycle. I didn’t know it at the time, but it was starting to be a bad cycle. I would have vivid dreams that my grandfather was still alive. In these dreams, he wouldn’t have to eat, but he would always be there for me. I would dream of different days walking into his room to have conversations. For months that was all, I dreamt about most nights.

It’s funny. In my family home when things go wrong with the electricity, it is as if my grandfather is reminding us to never forget who he was, not that I ever could.

Today is going to be a terrible day. My grandfather will always be on my mind, but today will celebrate by honoring the great man he was to my family. We are preparing his favorite, roast pork, as we always do on this day.

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My Grandfather’s Thunderbird

Written by James Edgar Skye

Pictures from my personal collection

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26 Replies to “A Dedication to My Grandfather 3.18.2018”

  1. Beautifully written. I think at the young age of fourteen, we really don’t understand death, other than they are gone. In reality, death is so much more than that. The spirit lives on, the memories live on, good memories. It would have been nice if he had lived longer, but did he have a wonderful life while he was on earth? Other than the cancer of course. Precious memories, I’m glad you have them and photos. Photos are so important.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. What a beautiful tribute to this wonderful man. I’m sure he’s really proud of you and the things you are doing with your writing and blogging. He and your grandmother were a beautiful couple, by the way ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much. I am lucky to have known my grandfather. I wish I knew my grandmother more, she was an amazing woman. They said she wouldn’t live past her childhood and she lived and had a family. They were both fighters.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Beautiful story. I completely understand. My grandfather was the world to me growing up, and it’s still the biggest regret of my life that I was not with him when he died. It’s been almost seventeen years and hardly a day goes by when I don’t think of him. I can’t speak of him without crying. But I look on that as good thing. How incredible the love we shared must have been, if I can still miss him so constantly after all this time. Sounds like you were just as lucky with your grandfather. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That was beautiful. You are very blessed to love so deeply and to have been loved so much from a wonderful man. May your memories last a lifetime. You can tell how much he has positively impacted your life. Thank you for sharing him with us. Hugs, Sue

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I am happy for you. My grandpa was and is my favorite person in my life as well. He seemed to be the only person that loved me unconditionally. He passed way too soon. My love for him will never change and he died about 30 years ago. He still makes me happy and warms and fills my heart with love when I think of him. I am smiling just thinking of him now. That is a blessing. Hugs, Sue

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  5. Hi James. I started to write you, and somehow got distracted and think I lost the data. So am starting over.

    I am the eldest of all nieces and nephews of your grandpa. My mom was the 2nd eldest of your grandpa’s siblings. I always felt that I was his favorite niece, as he will always tell me how he loved me. I was a friend of your grandma during high school. She was a very sweet, soft spoken person. Her brother Pete Espina bowls in the league I run for seniors.
    I too just lost my husband a few months ago. We dated 4 years and married 62 years. We had a wonderful marriage together and the beautiful memories shared is what keeps me going. Just before your grandpa passed he called me to offer his condolence, because I had lost my grand-daughter, she was only 18.
    He never mentioned about his illness. We never really kept in touch after he moved to the mainland. I only wished we were notified of his passing. I would have liked to be there for his service.
    Auntie Catherine will be here in a few weeks to celebrate her 80th birthday. Would be really nice if families on the mainland can join us so we can meet all of you. Here we are a closed-knit family of at least 200 plus.
    Will close for now. Give my love to everyone there.
    Love, Lillian Rilveria.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s great to meet you Lillian. I don’t know as much about my grandfathers side of my family. Thank you reaching out. If you would like to talk more please email me. This is my pen name (James Edgar Skye) but I am my grandfathers oldest grandson. David.

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  6. This morning first thing I thought of was my brother with tears, remembering his birthday.
    I really miss him a lot. I’m so glad I did spend time with him before he left. It was short and special.
    Unfortunately, distance made it difficult to visit more often.
    I will always remember when I was planning to visit, he cooked Kahlua Pig. Just talking about
    this really miss him more.
    I am the only one left , all of my siblings are gone. Thank God I have the nieces and nephews
    I will be seeing soon!
    Thank you for your time about my brother! That was so special.

    Love you all!
    Aunty

    Liked by 2 people

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