First of all, apologies about the lame thread title. I couldn't come up with anything better.
Did anything happen in your family or close circle that you think is so epic that it would deserve a book or a movie made about it?
I'll start with a story about my grandfather.
Him and my grandma got married quite young and had three kids together, one of them being my dad. He was something of a computer genius and had an incredible brain for anything science and technology related. He was one of the first people in the country to own a PC and did a few interviews about it. He was also extremely charismatic and could chat up pretty much any girl he ever wanted.
When my dad was about six years old, granddad left his family for a young nurse, whom he eventually married. She was a bit of a jealous bi*ch and wouldn't allow granddad to see his kids, so he only managed to visit them a few times a year in secret. Of course their relationship suffered by this. My grandma never married again and raised her three kids on her own, which was pretty admirable in a communist occupied country in the 70's.
Anyway, fast forward to the 90's. Me and my two brothers are already in the world, and my granddad decided to put his foot down and told the wife that he wants to have a relationship with his grandkids and that he will see us whenever he wants. It took my dad and my granddad a few years to find a way to each other, but they managed eventually. We'd even go to visit him at his apartment whit the wife being there, although she never said anything but "hello" to us and spent the entire visit sitting in the corner, giving us the death glare.
When I was 12, my granddad was riding a bike and got hit by a car. He died on the scene, but they brought him back. He had a surgery, spent a few weeks in the hospital, and went back to his cheery self.
When I was 13, he was riding a bike again. He wasn't paying attention, crashed into a car that stopped in front of him, flew off his bike to the other lane where he got hit by a car. He died in the ambulance, but they brought him back. Had a surgery, spent a few weeks in the hospital, you know how it goes.
When I was 15, he went on holidays to Corsica (at least I think it was Corsica, could be wrong here). He went for a morning walk and noticed one of those plastic white garden chairs floating in the sea. Immediately he pictured himself sitting in this chair on the beach. Of course he decided to climb down the cliff and get it. Unfortunately for him, the tide was coming in, a wave got him and threw him on a cliff, knocking him unconscious. Someone saw him when he was climbing down and they called the coast guard on him. Thanks to this, help was available right there when this happened. They pulled him out of the water, not breathing, no pulse, his head covered in blood. Don't panic though, because they brought him back. As if you thought this man could actually ever die. CPR, a few stitches on his head, cracked rib, two days in the hospital, all good.
When I was 18, his wife found him unconscious on the floor in the bedroom. Being a nurse, she knew what to do, so again he received an immediate professional assistance and was looked after until the ambulance arrived. I suppose that none of you will be surprised when I tell you that he died on the way to the hospital. And you will be even less surprised when I tell you that they brought him back. He had a major surgery as they found out that he has an internal bleeding in his abdomen. There was also an issue with his blood, but I can't remember what it was exactly, but he was taking medication for it for the rest of his life.
Shortly after this he left his wife for his mistress. At this time, he was already in his early 70's. She was 42. Not bad. They didn't move in together though, I'm not sure why. He was accepted into a sort of assisted living facility. It still gave him a lot of freedom, the only form of assistance he was getting there was someone checking on him once a day for a few minutes to see if he's ok.
I only visited him there twice. He was in a city quite far from where we lived, so I'd go there when my dad drove over. I remember the apartment. It was tiny. Just a couch that would unfold into a bed, his kitchen consisted of a small cooker and a kettle. There was only one window, and there was a computer desk by that window. A small coffee table in the centre of the room. He was happy there. I remember him saying that he should have gone to live by himself ages ago, that he's finally free.
In October 2010, shortly after I moved to Ireland, my dad called me and said that granddad had died. This didn't really phase me at first. "Again? How long was he dead for this time," I asked. The silence on my dad's side made me realize that nobody brought him back this time. He was gone. The people who were checking on him daily knocked on his door one afternoon, and when there was no answer, they opened the door. They found him dead in front of the computer.
Only months later I found out that he went out as the legend he was - heart attack while sitting by his computer with his pants down, watching dirty videos.
When my dad was clearing the apartment, he went through granddad's computer to see if there's anything worth keeping, maybe old photos, documents, etc. He found photos alright. Photos of girls in their 20's, posing for him naked on the couch in that tiny studio apartment! That's right, this old guy in his late 70's never lost an ounce of that charisma and still, even at this age, managed to convince nearly three dozen of different young girls to go to his tiny apartment and pose naked for him. Nearly three dozen girls in about 3.5 years that he lived there.
Then, while clearing out a garage he was renting, we found a bunch of old cameras, radios, TV sets, computers, etc. He was collecting this stuff, taking it apart, and then putting it back together. Behind all this clutter, we found some very heavy containers. When my dad saw them, his eyes went wide. It was lead containers used for storing radioactive material.
I'm not allowed to talk about any of this, it's our family secret. I'm sharing it with you guys here, because nobody in my family speaks English, so they're never going to find out. Don't rat me out, ok?
Here's to you, granddad, you bloody legend.