Grandma Didn’t Listen To This Music



He escaped from a hairy situation.

This is stream of consciousness writing and yes that is me in the picture above. I won’t tell you how it connects to this post because you probably won’t be able to follow my train of thought or maybe that is because I am not sure how to explain it clearly.

All I can do is ask you to walk with me on this journey for as short or as long as you wish and we’ll see how and where it goes.

Musical Accompaniment

Dear Grandma,

Today is your 99th birthday and I am still surprised you aren’t here to celebrate it with us. You died on my wedding anniversary, three years ago.

I have written about it before and shared stories about the days before and after you left us. Grandpa died a week before Melissa’s wedding and it was because you weren’t there.

That is not a condemnation, I am not angry or upset with you and if I was grandpa would come back from the dead for me. You know that every woman would want to be loved the way he loved you, 76 years of marriage, a testament and  a miracle.

But when I say I am surprised you aren’t here it is because you were a powerhouse of energy. Your daughters, grandchildren and all who knew you well can attest to that. We should all have the kind of energy you had in your eighties and early nineties.

There is no doubt in my mind that if your eyes hadn’t gone you would have made it many years longer than you did.

Your heart gave out but I think that your inability to see had something to with it.

And we move on

Posts that Are Tied into This

When I think about my grandparents and what I learned there are a million different stories that I could share with you. They were among the most colorful and interesting people I know and I learned much about life from them.

It is no secret that I miss them and I always will. The most important people in your life never go away, even when they aren’t around. You might not be able to talk to them in the same way but you hear the whispers of their voices and remember.

A Question of Dignity

One day soon I am going to have a conversation with my children about something that happened at one of the garage sales we had before we sold our old house. My daughter definitely won’t remember this moment and I am fairly certain that my son has forgotten as well but I am going to remind them because it is important.

A homeless man wandered into our yard and started looking at the items we had for sale. He flipped through some books, bags and toys and came to a stop at a pile of my shoes.

I watched him flip through them and settle on a pair of brown loafers.

He walked over to me and asked me how much they were and I told them they were a couple of bucks. He nodded his head, pulled out his wallet, handed me some cash and walked away.

I could have given him the shoes for nothing. I could have offered him a bunch of things, but he didn’t ask for a handout. He asked how much they were and I gave him a price because it was a question of dignity.

He wanted to pay and I saw no reason or purpose to take that from him.

My children need to hear that story again not because it makes their father look like a good guy but because I want them to remember the importance of treating people with dignity, especially those who can’t command it the way others can.

People shouldn’t have to command it, but I live in the real world where I see lots of examples of the poor way we treat the homeless and the mentally ill.

Time To Exercise

Grandma, it is 9:30 on Saturday night and I am going to stop writing about you and sharing these thoughts because I need to go hit the treadmill.

You would approve and appreciate that. You didn’t stop exercising until the final days of your life and I will do no less.

I only wish you and the rest of the crew were around. I wish you could see your great grandchildren and that we could talk about things. I wish I could tell you about my life now and listen to your stories again.

You were much quieter than grandpa but ever so sharp. The people that didn’t take the time to learn from you missed out. You would never have said that, so I’ll say it for you.

So long for now.

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  1. Joe April 16, 2013 at 11:02 am

    Sensational, moving post, Jack. Thanks for writing this.

  2. Kristen Daukas April 15, 2013 at 7:48 am

    I can’t believe my grandmother has been gone for almost 17 years. And she was only 63 when she died. I still feel cheated that she was taken so early but really, it’s not me that was cheated since I did have almost 30 years with her. Rather, my kids are the ones who were cheated out of knowing her. She was my rock and I miss her every day.

    • Jack April 15, 2013 at 8:48 pm

      I know exactly what you are talking about. My kids didn’t get to hang out with my grandparents until they had slowed down quite a bit.

      I am grateful they had time with them but I wish they could have known them the way I did.

  3. Stan Faryna April 14, 2013 at 1:47 am

    I’m reminded of Bill Withers’ song, Grandma’s hands.

  4. Jen April 13, 2013 at 11:28 pm

    Today is my Bubbi’s birthday. The first one since she died last December. So, synchronicity and all, I really get this.

    And feel inspired to write about my Bub.

    Not only that, but I loved your background music too. Really really loved.

    • Jack April 14, 2013 at 8:22 pm

      April 13 was my Bubbe’s birthday too, sounds like they shared the same day. Baruch Dayan Emet, sorry for your loss.

      It is hard to say goodbye.

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