My grandfather died in his sleep Sunday night. He'd been sick for a long time, so it wasn't a big surprise. What was a surprise was how long he managed to hang in there, in spite of all the things that were wrong with him. Gramps was a tough old bird. He was the model for both Mia's grandfather (on her dad's side, of course), but more so the model for the grandfather in a new book I have coming out next fall called HOW TO BE POPULAR, which will now be dedicated to his memory.
Gramps, like everyone in my family, could tell a story. My favorites were the ones from World War II. Gramps was sent to France—all of twenty-one or two years old at the time—and was promptly shot. While he was off recuperating (in Holland, working for Eisenhower, whose ashtray Gramps stole), the rest of his platoon found an abandoned farm house and raided the wine cellar. Unbeknownst to them, Nazi sympathizers had poisoned all the bottles. Every man in the platoon died.
If Gramps hadn't gotten shot, he'd have died, too, and then my mother would not have been born, and then I would not have been born.
Just an example, Gramps would say, of how even being shot in the butt can have a silver lining.
I'm off to the funeral, so don't expect any updates for a bit.