DJ Badger:  The News and the Journal

Entry Twenty-Two.
Saturday 2004.01.31 12:31 PM CST.
I lost my grandpa and left the Gypsy for a while, not in that chronological order.

Badger has exited the Gypsy.
As of Tuesday, the 27th of January, I've left the Gypsy Coffee House for a while.  It has nothing to do with the establishment or the staff itself; as far as I'm concerned, the Gypsy is still cool in that respect.  I'll say more about my departure below, but that's not the most important news of the week.

My grandpa died.
Well, I don't quite know how I'm going to address this on the site, since none of you (probably) knew my grandpa, but we lost him this week.  He had been having significant health problems as of late, and he was diagnosed with cancer within the last year.  He starrted chemotherapy and got worse and worse.  Then, in late December, he fell and fractured his hip, and he never recovered.  The family knew he was close to death within the last two to three weeks, though I never completely lost hope that he would somehow miraculously pull out of this.  He died on the night of Wednesday, the 28th of January, in his sleep.

I don't have many "close" family members.  My parents are still living, and I go visit them every once in a while, but all my other relatives live out-of-state.  I have a few aunts and uncles with whom I very rarely converse, and a few cousins scattered here and there, but my strongest familial ties have been with my parents, with this particular set of grandparents, located near St. Louis, Missouri, running second.  This was the grandpa on my mum's side; I never really knew my grandpa on my dad's side, since he died when I was a little over a year old.

Because I haven't had many close family members, I haven't had to attend many funerals in my life.  I can remember attending one for a distant alcoholic uncle when I was eight or nine years old, and then one for the grandma on my dad's side shortly thereafter.  Then, I can remember going to the funeral for "Mr. Hayes," an old man who was one of my best friends during my awkward teenage years and died of cancer on Christmas Eve of 1986.  This was closely followed (relatively speaking) by the funeral for an old school friend named Penny, who died in a car crash in November of 1988.  Those both hit me pretty hard, since they were people I'd seen and conversed with on a semi-regular basis, and hence they were people with whom I was really familiar, at least to a higher degree than the preceding two aforementioned family members.

This funeral, though, will be different than the family member funerals before it.  A year ago, my grandpa was still getting around - although with a degree of diffifulty - and there were no real signs, until extremely recently, that he would die so quickly.  Because of work and other issues, I had not visited my grandparents for the last few years, though I sent them Christmas gifts through mail order every year and occasionally talked with them on the phone.  I can't help but feel guilty that I didn't go see him more often, because my grandpa meant a lot to me.  Outside of my parents, he was probably the family member to whom I would have felt the closest, if I had to choose one.  I can still remember him coming to visit us, his video camera in hand (he loved to document things), with his normal greeting for me, "Heyyyy Billy!"  (He was one of the few people who could call me "Billy" and walk away in one piece.)  I remember how much he loved playing games - especially Gin, which I never completely learned, dominoes, which I learned a bit better than Gin, and Uno, of which I could actually play a decent game...  He could never get the hang of any video games, not that he ever really tried them, but I never really faulted him for that.

I really feel badly for my mum during this time, because she's never lost an immediate family member and I know this is extremely tough for her.  She's been pretty strong, saying things like "It would be selfish for us to want him to go on living any longer if he was in pain," but she's also been really uspet about it at times, which I understand completely.

I've cried more about this death than I have for any person's death for a while.   In fact, I've been a huge sloppy mess while sitting here writing this update.  I'll miss my grandpa a lot.

Want to read something bitterly ironic?
As if the whole Grandpa situation wasn't bad enough, while I was typing the article above, my mum called.  She'd just gotten off the phone with someone else who delivered more bad news.  Garry, a good friend of my mum and dad who had been dealing with leukemia for a good deal of his life, was found dead by his brother last night.  When discovered, he was just sitting at a table.  I talked with him on the phone a couple of times, but I never met him in person.  However, this is someone else that Mum will miss greatly, and Dad - when he finds out (mum's about to wake him up and tell him the bad news) - will probably be devastated.

We haven't even gotten out of January and two people very close to my parents have died.  I hope this isn't a sign of how the rest of the year will go.

And now, that whole "Leaving the Gypsy" thing...
On Tuesday, 01-27, I announced during Open Mic Night that I would not be back to the Gypsy Coffee House for "at least a couple of weeks."  That "at least" is important, as it might be quite a bit longer.  Some people are probably wondering why I chose to leave.

Well, I won't go into too much detail, but I have decided that it would be best for me not to be around the Gypsy Coffee House, or people in general, for a little while.  Lately, my girlfriend and I have been having some issues - nothing too destructive to the relationship, but a few issues that have frustrated us both - and we have both felt hurt/deceived by many individuals online, as well as a good-sized handful of the patrons of the Gypsy.  We're tired of being let down by people, we're tired of people who say one thing then completely change their minds, and we're tired of people who outright can't keep their word altogether.  The Gypsy has a lot of wonderful customers, but it also has plenty of customers (especially female customers, not to be sexist, just to make an observation) who seem to thrive on deceiving and hurting others.  My girlfriend and I have had enough head games for now.  While she's welcome to go to the Gypsy whenever she pleases, I personally don't feel it's in my best interest to go there until I heal up a bit and try to sort through some things.

Anyway, that's all for now.  Although I've written this today, I'm going to purposely hold off on posting it until I get back from St. Louis - so that not every schmoe online will know when I'm going to be out of town.  [Note:  It's being posted 02-08-2004.]

Thanks for being here and thanks for reading.  I'm sure the next update will be more uplifting.  Take care, and God bless...