When I was younger, one of my weekly routines would be to sit down on Monday nights and watch WWE Raw with my grandpa. Back then, it was the Attitude Era that ruled; Dewayne Johnson was asking what the Rock was cooking. Steve Austin was cracking cold ones and stunning the hell out of Vince McMahon. Degeneration X came out having fun and not caring who was pissed off in the process. Lita, Chyna, and Trish Stratus were laying the foundation for women to have a place in a corporation that men ruled.
As I grew up and I became a typical high school student, I got away from spending those evenings with my grandpa. Then in college, my roommate and I started watching WWE again. While it still had the cheesy storylines, the roster was filled with people I had never heard of and the sense of nostalgia of my childhood made it worth watching. The only thing missing was my grandpa.
From 2012 to 2014, Grandpa had various health problems. In 2013, he had a 5-Bypass surgery, and the next year he had his left leg amputated due to gangrene from diabetes. In 2015, he was put into a nursing home because my parents couldn’t provide the care he needed.
When I married Bret and became close to his family, I learned that his sister was a huge WWE fan. I found myself getting back into the cheesy storylines and rooting for my favorite superstars, hating on others, and feeling that sense of being a middle schooler once again. And as I started to watch routinely week after week, I found myself going and seeing my grandfather more on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, so we could talk about the latest “drama” between John Cena and whoever he was feuding with.
And then, on November 30th of last year – my 29th birthday – he was gone.
Six months later, and I still find myself wanting to turn right into Galax Health and Rehab like I had numerous times in the past 3 years. Miss Congeniality or A League of Our Own comes on tv and memories flood back of sitting and watching these endlessly with him. I hear a George Jones or Vince Gill song, and I think of the concerts we went to when I was younger.
Continuing to watch WWE Raw and Smackdown with my sister allows me to be reminiscent of my childhood. It allows me to grieve once a week in my own way and my own pace.
Each and every day, I miss my grandpa. It’s just a little extra on Mondays and Tuesdays.