Grandma


Dear Grandma,

I haven’t spoken with you in quite some time and I am not really sure why. I suppose that one could say that it is because you died last year. You died on the day of my 14th anniversary- that is a hell of an anniversary gift. I remember wondering what one does for the 14th. You know how they have that list of things you do, one year is paper, another is diamond, gold etc.

Well, I am not quite sure where death fits on that list. Granted I don’t really pay attention to these things nor do I limit myself to conventional items. You know me, I march to the beat of my own drummer except that dude has no rhythm. And so it goes.

I went to see grandpa today. I try to see him as often as possible. You do know that no one ever thought that he would outlive you. We all expected you to be here longer than you were. Granted you were 96 so no one can call you a slacker or suggest that you didn’t uphold your end of the bargain, but still… Until the last few years you were a powerhouse of energy.

No one believed that you were really in your nineties. Mom says that you had more energy than anyone she knew and I believe her. I remember you walking the stairs to do laundry. You were in your eighties and you refused to let me carry the basket. You do know that you got me into trouble with that one. I got yelled at for not being a gentleman, but I didn’t bother arguing about it.

I don’t say this to upset you, but grandpa is prone to crying now. He misses you terribly and I understand, albeit differently. Seventy-six years of marriage is something that I can’t begin to understand on anything other than the most basic level. You never read this blog but I have written about you here many times. I have written about all of my grandparents.

My thoughts and memories are collected here in this blog. Think of it as a journal that we keep on the computer. Anyway, grandpa cries. He tries to hide the tears but there is no hiding the pain in his voice. I don’t think you would be surprised to hear that he loved you deeply, intensely. Somewhere in this blog is a post where I wrote about his fear of not being able to take care of you.

He told me about how you when you were 16 you would jump on his back and he would run. He told me that he couldn’t believe that he wasn’t strong enough to carry you anymore. He told me that he didn’t see an old lady, but the girl he fell in love with. I get it. I can see those things. When I go visit I often go alone because he doesn’t want his great grandchildren to see him struggle to keep it together.

So I make a point to visit sometimes without the kids and then when he cries I don’t say anything about it. It is a polite fiction that we both live with, but it is not always easy. He doesn’t cry all the time. We have entire conversations where he is composed, but the conversation always comes back to you and that is when things get rough. I’d ask for your advice, but….

There is a lot going on in my life too. So much to tell you, so many stories. Grandma, I am going to be 42 in May. Forty-two, how did that happen. Yesterday you and I walked down Fairfax to buy ice cream. Ok, so maybe that memory is pushing thirty something years, but it feels recent to me.

And did I tell you how big my children are. We booked a Bar Mitzvah date. Granted it is 2.5 years from now, but time moves so quickly. I am frustrated Grandma. There are things going on that just aren’t working for me, but I am actively working on making changes. I am pushing and pulling and doing my best to just go with things. Did I ever tell you that I always admired how easily you adapted to whatever happened.

You made it seem effortless. I know that there were times when it wasn’t. I know lots of things and lots of stories, but still. You were always one of the happiest people I know. To be clear, I wouldn’t say that I am unhappy, but I am not joyful either. That is why I am working on making the changes.

Anyway, it is after 2 AM and I need to get some sleep. But before I go I want to ask that if somehow these words reach you, can you go visit grandpa. Can you somehow let him know that you are not really gone. It would mean more to him than you know.

Love,

Your oldest grandson

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