My Grandpa passed yesterday after battling lung cancer for many years. He was resting and surrounded by loved ones, and I hope at complete peace. This is a tough time for the Farinas, but we are sharing lots of love and support. I only wish I were in California right now to give my Grandma a hug.
I will miss how he greeted me with “Hiya doll!” and a firm hug and slap on the back, so enthusiastic that he almost knocked the wind out of me.
As far back as my memory goes, he had lost most of his vision and hearing. He didn’t let this get in his way. Despite these challenges, he kept busy by building an intricate doll house with working electricity and tiny furniture, a miniature church with all the details, and other doll-sized creations.
He spent most of his sunny California days tinkering in the garden. As a kid I loved to collect his carefully-grown roses that filled the front yard. The back yard was filled with lemon and orange trees, and at harvest time every visitor was urged to please take some home!
My favorite memory was one Christmas, after all the other presents had been opened, he brought forward another gift for Grandma from “Captain Video” (a nickname that predated me, so I don’t even know what it means). She was puzzled, because they went and did nearly everything together all the time, and where did this gift come from? Despite being almost fully blind and deaf, he had snuck out to the shops on Ventura Boulevard and found his way to a perfume shop, and surprised Grandma with her favorite perfume.