Before my grandfather passed in December, I was fortunate enough to see him one last time.
My grandfather was, until his dying day, completely "there" in mind - it was his body that failed him. He managed to retain almost full mental capacity to the ripe old age of 92. I'm thankful for this, as it allowed me to get to know him...I just wish I'd been able to get to know him BETTER. We had agreed to meet weekly to talk about his past, but before I'd had a chance to get back to the rehab hospital to see him and learn his story, he left us. It's for the best, really, since it wouldn't have been fair for him to be stuck there forever. He was the independent sort, and the idea of staying in a hospital for weeks/months/years was a nightmare he didn't want to live. I can't say I blame him.
Anyway, during that last visit, I admitted to him that I own weapons. I specified my .22 and the Mauser...I don't think he really needed to know much more than that. To my delight, he confirmed he knew what the Mauser was, and was amazed I intended to shoot it. He said I should gain a little more weight to make sure it didn't knock me over.
A kidder, he was. Gods I miss him.
ANYWAY, before I turn this into a sob story, I wanted to share this: after telling him about the Mauser and my hunting plans for it, he encouraged me. He insisted that I need to hunt, to preserve the "old ways" before the skill is lost. While no one else in my family (save my cousin) is even remotely happy I have any interest, it's nice to know Pop was all for it. I know he'll be watching over me next season, willing me to bring home meat for the freezer. I know he would love that, since he spent so many years as a butcher.
In other news, for Christmas, C gave me a scope for my AR. Now we've just gotta get a good weekend when we're not already booked to get out there and shoot the durned things.