I haven’t wrote in here in a while but I’ve thought about it a lot. This is going to be a long post so if you like scrolling enjoy. This is my truth in life without the man that’s loved me like no other, who I have loved like no other. A Grandfather is more than a father. He is an ancestor. Mine was a wise old spirit at a young age as was I.
Coming from truth it’s a journey I couldn’t envision. A life without Jimmy Norman. Not too many people thought I’d survive his death, neither did I. Yet I am still here. My heart still beats as my lungs inhale.
His do not, yet Grampa never leaves me. I wonder am I haunted by him or is he just that much a part of me?
I considered leaving this blog alone because it’s like I’m keeping him alive in some kind of weird way and I’m not so sure that’s a good thing. The Lord takes whom he will when he will. Man has no bearing on His will.
I have to accept Grampa’s not in his living room on 70th Street anymore.
Thing is creepy shit happens from time to time and we can tell Grampa’s here with us. I’m sure he pops up on my mom from time to time and it creeps her out too. There’s nothing we can do about it but we surely can lessen the strange occurrences by not keeping his ass alive and well in the absence of his physical presence, lol.
See, I’ve had a hard time letting go…
He’s most of what I know in this life. Mom and I are cool but I kinda messed that up in my teens. Him and I became closer when mom and I fell out and I could always trust him.
I could depend on him most times.
Grampa was home.
Now if I actually wanted to reside in his home all the time(s) I did or not was a whole ‘nother animal. I had more situations in life than most children, sometimes home was the best and only place to be.
Jimmy Norman was a strange creature to say the least and sometimes not the kindest, as we all have our different moods and waves. Not all the time did we see eye to eye. Not to mention I had to grow up and out of his house at some point right?
I couldn’t live at home forever, although I surely tried. I loved him, I loved home and I didn’t want to go anywhere else. Ever really. But I had to so I ventured out on my own more than a few times.
I always left and ended up coming back. Even when I didn’t have to or need to.
I needed to.
Because Grampa was there and I just needed to be near him. Even if I didn’t stay home for days or weeks on end, just to know I could turn the key in the door when I did come home and see him in the living room would make my soul rest comfortably wherever I was.
I can’t do that anymore. That’s what eats at the deepest parts of my soul in a way nobody could understand but my mother, maybe his wife.
I haven’t been able to turn my key in his door and see him sitting there at his table in more years, months, weeks, days, hours, minutes, seconds than I could have ever possibly imagined…and that’s some real bullshit to me.
Since his death he’s become EVEN MORE a part of my world than he was when he was alive. Crazy but true.
When I wasn’t home I always heard his words in my ears. When I couldn’t hear his voice, I called him to hear his voice. I can’t do that anymore and that’s some bullshit too.
At least there’s youtube and his music. For that I’m grateful. I wish I could turn to the hundreds of videos he’s recorded over the years.
See, I grew up on those VHS’s. He’d come back from a show and gather us all around the t.v and show us this show he did out of town or overseas because we couldn’t be there. He’d tell us when and what channel to tune in to see his latest interview or he’d show us the newest music video he was working on. He always valued his family and friends opinions of his work and we always loved most everything Grampa did.
When I got older and it was just him and I living at home I’d be in my room, both of us bored as hell doing nothing for the day and I’d pass by him headed to the kitchen. He’d stop me and say “Hey baby, uh, you remember that ‘such and such’ video? Yea, it’s in that crate over there in the closet, or look maybe under the t.v in the cabinet. It’s labeled so you should be able to see it.” I’d dig and search for whatever he wanted me to pull out then hook up the t.v to the VHS for him. Sometimes we’d sit back and smoke a doobie while he remembered the times and told me stories while we watched video after video.
I’m not so well adjusted to this life without him and I hide it well. Kinda. Not really to those who know me.
I’m not sure if I’ll ever adjust really.
Thing is he wasn’t all good…but he wasn’t all bad either. He was just Him and He was a trippy soul to love. He was one that’d create, confuse, heal, destroy, build those who loved him the most.
He was real as hell.
He’d give you the truth in a minute. His truth. Sometimes skewed in my opinion but what artist do you know who’s perfectly sane? lol.
He was wise I give him that. It’s his wisdom and his love I miss the most.
I miss loving him.
Having a reason to push myself. For Grampa.
He wanted so much for me.
He only saw a fraction of his dreams for me come to pass, before he did.
Although I’d come close, I wasn’t what he fought me so hard to be.
He always believed in me. I always believed in him and for that we were magnetized to each other no matter who’d forsaken us. We always had each other when there was no one else was there.
Now my children are here and their love is sweeter than a summer day but…there’s nobody like my Grampa.
Except me, and my mom. She’s a lot of him in so many little ways. I don’t see her as much as I’d like to.
I’ve damn near become the man. He’s all over me, his words rolling off my tongue and through my heart before I even know it as I speak to my children.
I probably caused a large portion of Grampa’s heart problems unknowingly through stress and worry.
I didn’t understand that stress really can kill someone until I started college for health care in my late 20’s.
I didn’t understand what a parent’s worry was like. I didn’t have Grampa’s issues with my children.
I had other issues with my children that were insurmountably painful. I was buried in my own pain most of my life. It showed.
Grampa couldn’t understand my pain. He couldn’t understand what life was doing to me as I couldn’t understand what I was doing to him.
Well, God showed me Grampa’s pain. God showed me my mother’s pain. Glimpses compared to what I’m sure to have imposed upon them both over the years. Oh, He showed me and I’ve repented sincerely, praying for forgiveness for any and all of the pain I ever caused my parents. I totally understand.
Through understanding I utilize prevention. I refuse to die through my children’s lives. I learned through Grampa how to parent me. How to push me, how to not push me. My children are mini me’s, replica’s of me.
I also educated my children on what stress can do to the human body.
My children have given me one minor heart attack, months on end of TMJ, nightmares, stress induced spinal nerve inflammation, and exacerbated the already extreme symptoms of a stomach condition which left permanent lasting effects. Caused by nothing other than worry, concern, love and stress over my babies.
I couldn’t imagine what Grampa must have felt for all my situations, how his health suffered watching my complicated life unfold.
Like he said “May the Lord forgive you for you know not what you do. God takes care of babies and fools and you’re a bit of both baby.”
I took solstice in that and was reckless teenager…and adult. Sheesh. I took forever to grow up.
I had Grampa when I had Grampa. Grampa wasn’t always available to be a parent and home wasn’t always an option.
He did him, I did me and but we loved each other. We understood each other in the strangest of ways without fully understanding each other at all.
As he said time and time again “Baby, me, your mama and your sister are all the family you’ve got. At home you’ve got me and I’ve got you and that makes Us all we’ve got. We gotta love each other no matter what.” And we did.
Not always reliable either of us, but always there, even when we weren’t there.
For that I can’t just forget him.
I can’t let go.
I can’t just say it’s okay when it’s not.
He’s gone and this is bullshit.
But he’s not really gone because he’s here.
He’s home. Home is where the heart is he always said.
I know home’s always been him for me…and for some part of him I was home too.
Home was home when I came home and he loved it. Sometimes he wanted to be alone, didn’t want me home. Mostly he wanted to see me on my own doing good for myself somewhere with a family, good husband, kids and education. He didn’t understand that I couldn’t let go of home for but so long at a time.
Didn’t work out quite that way. Not exactly in that order you know?
When I came home it was always to leave as soon as possible if I was in a situation or to stay for a time if I was visiting.
Usually I’d stay on a 2 month visit when I did visit, sometimes just a couple weeks. Sometimes I’d stay longer because I really truly didn’t want to leave him or home. He was comfortable for me and I hated being away.
I loved our apartment, our neighborhood, all my childhood memories, some of the neighbors, the peace home gave me. But, I did have to leave and try to make a new home for myself elsewhere as I got older. I tried.
Until 2009 when I had to stay home…
Because Grampa was leaving.
He’s gone. I’m still here.
Here in NY. In this city without him.
As I never have been, ever in my life. In New York without Grampa.
Insanity. That’s what it feels like when a train gets too close to 59th Street Columbus Circle. I find myself rushing the other direction…quickly. When I do have to get off the train near home I rush to my destination and back on the train before the emotions capture and incapacitate me.
He’s always here. Whether we invoke him or not.
I am a descendant of him.
I will go home one day as he did.
While I’m here still the goal every day is to be all he envisioned for me, that is should my heart keep beating long enough to give me life to get there.
I will never stop trying. His voice is always in my ear.
Now, I am the parent and I have children who must hear. By God’s grace I pass his wisdom coupled with my own forward to the next generation…of his descendants.
No matter what I do, Grampa’s always here with me…he’s always here with us.
Whether we want him to be here or not….because he is me…I am him, through my mother I am him, through me, through my mother, they are him.