Sunday, November 28, 2010

Fe Fi Fo Fum

As a little children, my grandfather would slowly stomp down the grand staircase of his old 1920's home bellowing, "FE FI FO FUM, I SMELL THE BLOOD OF AN ALTDOERFFER SON" as my brother and I would crouch beneath the billards table of the room adjoining the kitchen. As he slowly moved through rooms, nearing our hide out, his voice would grow and we'd try to suppress our snickers of anxiety until finally he'd reach the table and snatch us from below, greeting us with hugs and kisses. The routine continued for years, and consequently my dad's parents became known as "Grandma and Grandpa Fe-fi-fo-fum" (as if our 11-letter, German last name wasn't enough of a mouthful).

Friday I awoke to learn that my grandpa had gone into cardiac arrest and passed away. Though death is inevitable, and witnessed him age and his energy wane as he neared 85 years old, his passing was not expected. My mother had warned me during my last visit home that I might not have too much time remaining with my grandpa, however I dismissed the premonition when his laugh erupted over lunch despite the state of his weakened lungs. As I hugged him goodbye after lunch, a few hours prior to my return flight to California, I had no idea that it'd be the last.

Death does a funny thing. It makes you reflect on all the memories you shared with that person. The little moments that get tossed away with the tide of time until finally unearthed when deeply contemplated. Memories such as a smile, a laugh, or like my grandpa's dedication to family. As my family grew and dispersed throughout the country, occasions where he could gather us all together in one room to share a meal grew rarer and rarer. And though we will continue to populate various regions throughout the country and world, he will once again be able to be with each of us, though now, only in spirit.

Rest in peace, Grandpa. You will so be missed.

(Photo by my cousin, Drew Altdoerffer)

1 comment:

Kealan said...

Loved reading that Allison. Time flies. Great picture of him :)
<3 Kealan