When I was a teenager, my grandpa once warned me, “Don’t sleep your life away!”
He’s gone now, and still every time I wake up from what I warrant an unnecessary (regardless of how enjoyable) nap, I hear him scolding me for sleeping too much. Wasting my life.
I just slept from 7-9PM after a long, hot day at work. The first thing I thought when I woke up? ‘Well, I just wasted this day’
I wish I didn’t remember him so often for that, I wish I remembered him for his amazing sense of humour, horrible bedhead and eardrum-shattering snoring, and his obsession with telling his granddaughters to comb their hair before he’d take us out to his favourite watering hole with him. He wasn’t about to be seen with messy-haired granddaughters you know! If we refused or told him we’d already combed our hair, he’d jokingly tell my grandma to get the pruning sheers, this one needs a haircut. We’d giggle like idiots and run as fast as we could to the nearest comb. I wish I remembered him most for offering to kick our knees when we complained that our arms hurt, claiming that that way, we’d forgot about our arms. I wish I remembered the way he used to whistle through his nose every time he ate, and how he always insisted that there be a stack of bread with some butter on the table every time we sat down. I wish I remembered his incredible laugh and the way he’d look at us grandkids with pride in his eyes. I wish I remembered how he always laughed through his nose first, then let it come out of his mouth second. I wish I remember him for the argument we had when I was like, 10 or 11, after he told me I was his favourite oldest granddaughter and I argued that meant nothing, since I was his only oldest granddaughter (I thought I was unmatched in brilliance for figuring that one out). I wish I remembered him taking all of us out to the air base, to their curling sheets on Christmas Day to have us chuck rocks along the sheets while he tried to teach us seriously, while we were all focused on throwing them as hard as we could to the other end, trying to hurt each other in the process.
I wish I remembered what my grandma told me after he passed away, that he used to brag to his buddies down at the Legion that his granddaughter was away in Toronto cuz she was studying to save the world. I wish he would have told me that himself, and I didn’t have to rely on third hand information.
It’s hard to save the world when you’re sleeping your life away. Sorry Grandpa. Sometimes I sleep just to try and dream you’re still here. I could go to Starbucks and fill up on caffeine to stay awake, though I’m pretty sure you’d scoff at my tall, non-fat, extra-hot, extra foam white chocolate mocha with sprinkles on top. You’d probably scoff at the idea of ‘buying’ coffee, unless you’re at a hockey arena or curling rink.
I wonder if he knows he haunts with me with what were innocent, joking words so many years ago. I hope not. Because then he’d know the pain of missing him every time I wake up. Grandpa, while I might be sleeping my life away, I hope to everything I can hope to that you’re enjoying your final sleep. Or at least giving everyone hell for enjoying theirs.