Strangely heartwarming somehow.
I just woke up and randomly remembered this, it’s something that hasn’t come to my mind for years.
Our family went to my grandfather’s house quite often during my childhood, a 3 hour drive up north.
He was a hardened man. My grandmother who I never met and him spent 4 years in a Nazi labor camp during WW2 then they finally escaped and fled to America after the war ended. He used to smoke cigarettes but the second hand smoke from his addiction ended up giving my grandmother lung cancer and she died from it. He stopped smoking as soon as she got cancer but it was too late. The events of his tough life working in factories, being imprisoned by the Nazis, and ultimately ‘killing’ his own wife made him into a rough and unhappy man. Often times while we were eating if one of us said something he didn’t like he’d snap and slam the wooden table with his fist, and all of us would eat the entire meal in complete silence.
He didn’t talk much at all. I was kinda too scared to talk to him. Our only interaction was basically forced interaction through my parents or him telling me to do the dishes to which I always instantly obeyed. Though we did watch Matlock together on his old crappy TV set from time to time.
Though my brother and I loved going to his house because he’d always have his special recliner chair and the crevices of it were always filled with loose change that fell out of his pocket. As a child I didn’t realize he did it on purpose. He knew we loved finding those quarters and he loaded up his pockets before sitting down in the chair just to let them spill out for us. I was too naive to realize this at the time but it brought him joy seeing us happily scouring for a few bucks.
One day I finally grew the courage to ask him a question “Grampa why don’t you talk much?” he replied “Successful people don’t talk much. They listen and take action.”
Later that day my parents, my brother, him, and I were at the supermarket. We walked past an aisle with a bunch of like goblin figurine thingies. I grabbed 1 of the goblins and tried to put it in the cart “MOMMY CAN I HAVE THIS?” My parents were very good at not spoiling us though, “No put that back.” I sadly put it back.
My grandpa then walks up without saying a word, grabs 5 fucking goblins, and throws them in the cart and continues pushing the cart with his standard angry mug look on his face. My mother didn’t dare question it.
I stood there in awe in the middle of the aisle. Half of me filled with pure joy for getting 5 goblins, the other half in awe of the fact that he demonstrated exactly what he meant in our conversation earlier.