My Grandfather

May 13, 2008
By Jenna Capuano, Rochester, NY

If there was anyone in the world I felt I could look up to it would be my grandfather. Everyone has that one special person that makes us feel like “Wow I want to be just like him or her one day”. That person for me was Louis Ted Capuano, my Grandfather. He passed away on January 3rd 2008. I felt like I had died also. No one knew how he had passed. At the funeral The Priest said that “It should not be the sad that you dwell on but the happy memories that will stay with you forever. This is a time of celebration, when Louis has been passed on to God and his suffering has ended.” At the time I had a hard time understanding what he meant by “celebration”. Now I realize that he meant my grandpa is in a better place now and he doesn’t have to be in pain anymore. But even knowing this doesn’t take away my families and my pain for one second.
When I was little I used to think that I didn’t have to worry about my Grandpa passing away and it and at the same time I knew that everyone dies. He was my walking miracle. He lived to be 77, with two heart attacks, emphysema, and a bullet in his back. My Grandpa was a Korean War Veteran as a soldier in the army. He earned two purple hearts because he was shot twice. The second time he was shot in the back and he passed out. When the people who collect the bodies on the battle front came by, they picked up my grandpa, even though he was not dead. One of the crew members saw his thumb twitch and saved his life. The doctors were never able to retrieve the bullet, it was to far lodged in his back.
Me and my family can’t help but wonder, “what if nobody noticed?” The answer is I wouldn’t be here right now. For a while I felt cheated after he died. I had so many older cousins who got to spend more time with him. I kept thinking it’s not fair I can’t even remember the first three years of my life. That means I only remembered 10 years… barley. But If I took the time to write down everything I remember it would be 10 pages long, maybe longer. A couple of my favorite memories are when; my family and my grandparents would go to Connecticut to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins. We used to all go there for holidays and vacations. After dinner my grandpa and grandma would tell stories about when they were kids and how they raised my dad and uncles. My favorites were his war stories. Another favorite memory is when my uncle and my grandpa chased a skunk out of the yard. My uncle had the pool net and my grandpa had a hockey stick. It was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen in my life. I remember always looking forward to holidays no matter what holiday it was my grandma and grandpa would always have all 21 of us at their little house. We always had so much fun. My uncle and grandpa were always cracking jokes about everyone and everything. During Christmas My Grandma and Grandpa would run around Wal-Mart getting a little something for everyone. My grandpa would say “Barb we don’t have to stop look at everything in the store’. “Just 10 more minutes Ted.” They ended up staying for about 2 hours. After that my grandpa stayed in the car while my grandma shopped. I would spend most of the summer when my parents had to work, at my grandpa’s house. At noon He would take me to the church where he worked as a handy man and I would get to help out with the small things. After he retired I helped do thing around the house. Sometime we would spend all day outside watching TV or playing with the hose, going for walks and gardening. Then I didn’t realize how I should cherish each moment because even when I was little he wasn’t in the best of health. These past couple years I wish I would have gone with my dad when he went over my grandfather’s. Sometimes I wish I could have done so many things differently as in spent more time with him. It’s is too late to regret what I didn’t do then, now. Even Now when my family goes to visit the cemetery it is to hard for me to go with them. I haven’t been to the cemetery since the funeral. During the time I had already been dealing with death my uncle bob had just passed away not three weeks before. He was in the hospital for the last months of his life, he was dieing of at least eight different kinds of cancer.
Sometimes the realization that my grandfather has passed away comes when I don’t expect it. . My experience of this is still hard to live with every day knowing I’m never going to hear him tell another story. At least I will always have my memories; they will stay with me until the one day when I might see him again. I will always miss them, during every minute of every day of my life.

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