Living With Don Johnson

It’s not fair

Posted on: October 27, 2012

It’s not fair.

I think I’ve said this nine or ten times an hour over the last 4 days. Growing up, my mom would always tell me that life isn’t fair, and it is just something that I have to learn to deal with.

But you know what? Sometimes life just plain sucks. And this is one of those times. And quite frankly, I’m more than a little pissed off at life and God or Buddha or Allah or whoever the hell is in charge of what happens on this green rock of a planet.

Here’s why I’m upset. In May, my baby brother passed away. At the age of 27. He was too young and it never should have happened. But, there wasn’t anything that anyone could have done to prevent it.

And now, not even 6 months later, I’m losing my grandpa. My brother was named after him. Whenever they were in the same room, my brother was called Little Doug. Although he didn’t remain Little Doug for long.

My grandpa is the strongest guy I’ve ever known. I always felt safe when I was with him. I remember being cold one day when I was probably 8 or 9. We were living at Ft. Lewis as the time. My grandma and grandpa were up for a visit. I remember slipping my hand into his, and then telling him that his hands were warm.

Growing up, my grandparents would always take Little Doug and me out to buy a new outfit for school. When I was teenager, I’d sometimes have a problem deciding between two outfits. Grandma was usually a stickler for the rules, but 9 times out of 10, Grandpa would tell me to get both outfits.

My mom has a picture of me, and I think I’m, I don’t know, 2 maybe 3 years old. And I have the wooden hammer from some toy in my mouth, and I’m pretending that it is a pipe. Grandpa Doug used to smoke pipes. I believe I called it Poppa’s bad pipe or something along those lines.

When I was finally old enough to join in the family games of Russian Rummy, I’d always sit to the left of Grandpa Doug because he’d feed me the cards I needed

He always made the best stuffing at Thanksgiving. It was never the same recipe from year to year. He’d always experiment.

My most favorite Grandpa Doug story is how he and my mom used to listen to the Indy 500 on the radio when my mom was a kid. And they’d move little cars around to show who was in the lead. As a kid, I remember my mom watching the Indy 500 on tv, and then immediately calling my grandpa afterwards. I hated watching the race as a kid. I’d usually watch one or two laps and then I’d get bored and go play with my toys. I didn’t quite understand the significance of it all until I was an adult. One of my Grandpa’s dreams was to see the Indy 500 in person. In May 2004, I made that happen. For Christmas 2003, I got my mom two tickets to see the Indy 500. She, of course, took my Grandpa. I was in Germany that year, and I’d just had Abby a couple of weeks before. I watched the race that day as I fed and rocked Abby. There were 4 generations watching the race that day. The next year, I watched the race and after it was over, I called my grandpa to wish him a happy Indy day. And then I called my mom to wish her the same thing.

As hard as it is for me, I know it is 12 times worse for my mom. To say good bye to both the Douglas’ in her life, her dad and her son, in a 6 month span is inconceivable.  I wish there was something that I could say, but there isn’t anything that I can say or do to make it better. In this situation, there is nothing that anyone can do to make it better.

Are you there God? It’s me, Kate. If you’re listening, please stop. This isn’t fair. Can you pick on someone else’s family for a while? We’ve kind of reached our limit. Thanks.

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1 Response to "It’s not fair"

Kate, I wanted you to know that in Grandpa Doug’s desk, I found a couple of your old Glamour Shots pictures from when you were in about 9th grade. He kept them all this time. And in a poem that Grandma wrote about 5 years ago (and that I had never seen) she said that the sun rose for Katie still. I love you!

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