Some Things on My Grandfather, the Day After the Anniversary of His Death
I spent the whole week thinking that Friday would be the 25th, and only just realized that yesterday was the 25th.
- •My grandpa, Bill Welch, passed away at the age of 73 on February 25, 2005.They didn't do an autopsy so I don't know how he died. I was 10 years old.
- •When my grandpa was young, his dad asked for a ride to a local bar. My grandpa proceeded to drive all the way from their house to the bar in reverse. His dad didn't say anything. Just slapped hip upside the head as he got out of the car.
- •When my grandpa was really young, he lived in the small town of Edina, Missouri. About 60 years after his family moved to Kansas City, we went back to Edina to do some genealogy research. Everyone recognized and remembered my grandpa. They all called him Billy Paul. It was cute.
- •To teach his kids about the dangers of electricity, my grandpa stuck their fingers in an electrical socket for a second or so.
- •My dad was terrified of heights, so anytime my grandpa saw my dad up on a ladder, he would shake it from the bottom to scare him.
- •My dad went to Saturday evening mass with my grandpa once. They were going to go to Nichol's Diner for dinner after. On the way there, my grandpa pulled over and picked up a homeless man and took him to dinner with them. I think he did this a lot more often than we knew.That homeless man went to my grandpa's funeral ~20 years later because he saw the obituary in the paper and wanted to pay his respects.
- •When I was 7 or 8, my grandpa called me on a Friday night and asked if he could take me to breakfast the next morning. He would pick me up at 9.We went to McDonald's. After this, he called me every Friday night until he died and took me to breakfast at McDonald's every Saturday at 9. It was my favorite part of the week, every week. He only ever got a cinnamon roll (this was before cinnamelts!) because he had already had breakfast when he woke up at 6. He just liked spending time with me.
- •I used to spend the night at my grandparents house most weekends. Before bed, I would make a bag of popcorn in the microwave, and put some in a cereal bowl. I'd go to the basement, where my grandpa was always sitting at his computer working on our family newsletter. My grandpa had 8 siblings and he took it upon himself to keep in touch.While he worked on "The Grapevine", I would eat from the bag of popcorn after I gave him the bowl. We would watch whatever was on TV Land. He loved how much I loved "The Brady Bunch" and he loved to whistle along to "The Andy Griffith Show" theme song.
- •I used to call my grandpa a loser. Every year on his birthday, I would make him a card that said he wasn't a loser for that day.He was an incredible artist. He would sketch portraits of me, but he would make them absolutely ugly (boogers coming out of my nose, buck teeth, crossed eyes, etc.)
- •One year during Bring Your Daughter to Work Day, my dad had just been laid off. He told me to call my grandpa (who retired before I was born, but kept working) and say "Could you take me to work with you tomorrow since I have a deadbeat dad?" I had no idea what this meant. I was probably 8 years old.I did it, and my grandpa thought it was hilarious. He picked me up in the morning, took me to work with him, introduced me to everyone, then left. He only worked three days a week and that wasn't one of those days. He let me play hooky for the rest of the day.
- •I went to McDonald's today for breakfast, thinking it was the 25th. When I looked at my phone as I sat down to eat, I saw that I was a day late. I started to tear up, but then I started laughing. He would think this was hilarious.
- •I still think about him at least every other day. I miss him so much. He would hate that I wrote this about him. He never liked to be talked about. He wanted to stay behind the scenes. He was so cool!