Friday, May 25

Charles J. Thompson, Jr.

May 25, 1923 - May 23, 1989

Well, today would have been my Grandpa Thompson's 84th birthday. Its really sad because I can hardly remember him, but yet all I really have to do is look at my dad and I can see him: wide hands with thick fingers, permanently stained from his job as a machinist. I remember riding with him to church in his noisy brown car in the summer with no air conditioning listening to him whistle - only later to learn he told my mom "She sure talks alot!" lol. I can remember seeing him standing in the doorway of his house only a few weeks (days?) before he died, covered in a rash caused partly by the stress of taking care of my grandma who was in the throws of a very bad nervous breakdown - trying to take care of her, everyone else seeing what he could or would not, that he wasn't able to help her alone. Sometimes when I visit my parents I think back to my childhood as they live in the house my Grandpa built and I watch my dad "tinkering" in the garage and remember that's exactly what my Grandpa always did. I remember Christmases where the living room was so crowded with presents you could hardly walk. My dad's little sister is only 6 years older than me, so we were close enough in age to argue over games, toys, and especially Barbies. My Grandpa would just sit quietly and watch all the chaos that was his house of 5 kids and eventually 5 grandkids. I rarely remember him even speaking, but when he did it was also much like my own dad, very quiet and very subdued but you also always knew when he meant business, even if he never raised his voice. I also remember stories my dad told me about him - like how my grandpa would pick up my dad for work in the morning during the few years before my grandpa retired and they worked together and Grandpa would drink coffee and spit and gag all the way to work, nearly throwing up because of the coffee lol... I remember my mom saying once when they were living at my grandparents' home just after they got married, and my grandpa walked out of his room in a T-Shirt and his boxers and nearly had heart failure because my mom SAW him... I remember stories Aunt Jessie (my grandpa's sister and next door neighbor) would tell me about when "Junior" was young (he was the baby of the family). I guess he was a pistol - I have vague recollections of stories of skinny dipping in the creek up the road and rides on Indian motorcycles with his cousin.

I was only 13 when he died, but the events surrounding his death are vivid in my mind as it was a really horrible time of confusion and bewilderment to me. I stayed with my other grandparents while he was in the hospital for the 6 days after the accident before he died while my parents kept vigil in Indianapolis.

Since then many changes have taken place in the family, my parents did much needed renovations and repairs to my grandparents' house and moved in, my Grandma eventually remarried and was widowed again (though that whole situation is a story in and of itslef lol), marriages, divorces, as so on. Four more grandchildren have been added, and two of his grandchildren are now married. Three great-grandchildren have been born (my kids), and the three siblings of my grandpa who were living at the time of his death have passed on.

We love and miss you, Grandpa, "Charlie", Charles, "Junior", Dad...

(Bad quality but it says: "A rural Sullivan man is in serious condition in the neuro critical care unit at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis after he was pinned under an automobile Wednesday afternoon. Charles J. Thompson, R4 Sullivan, was taken to Mary Sherman Hospital then transferred by Lifeline helicopter to Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Sullivan County Sheriff's Deputy Ron Jones said today that Thompson was pinned underneath a car after a jack slipped. Thompson was working in a shed just of Indiana 154, west of Sullivan, Jones said. When rescue units arrived bystanders had already freed Thompson from beneath the car, Jones said. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed on Thompson at the scene. No further details were available.)


CINDY said...


Keppy said...

Yes, it is always hard. :-(