This Is How You Do It

The last time I saw my grandparents dance together was at their 75th wedding anniversary party. They were both in their nineties and though their minds were still sharp their bodies were not what they had once been.

Flip through the pages here and you’ll find posts where I shared how my grandfather would tell me how he never saw a 90 something year-old woman sitting next to him because all he could see was the girl that he fell in love with.

They were together for so many years that it seemed inconceivable that there might come a time when they would be separated, yet it happened. Grandma died and left grandpa alone.

He wasn’t angry with her for dying, but he missed her terribly and I am convinced that he died of a broken heart. It took 18 months, but that is what killed him. Her absence.

Not a day went by where he didn’t talk to her or think about her, but it wasn’t the same.

When I think about that final dance I can’t help but smile. All six of their great grandchildren were there. I heard my son and my oldest nephew groan when they kissed and laughed when they swore they would never have girlfriends or get married.

For a brief moment they convinced their legs to hold firm and their backs straight and I remembered them dancing at my Bar Mitzvah and other family functions.

Life is filled with all sorts of different moments. I am doing my best to recognize them when they come and to appreciate them while they are happening.

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  1. Sandi Amorim July 14, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    I recently saw my grandpa who is 90 and in a nursing home. He’s gotten ornery since leaving his home and many family members are frustrated with him. But I do my best to have fun with him whenever I’m home for a visit. This last time I took photos with my iPhone and blew his mind. It was awesome :) 

    • TheJackB July 14, 2012 at 11:57 pm

       @Sandi Amorim 
      Hello Sandi,
      That sounds like great fun. My grandfather loved technology and I had oodles of fun showing him the things I could do with my phone. We bonded over that stuff, as well as others.
      I imagine that your grandfather might be frustrated with having to live in a home now. Of course I am projecting, but my own grandparents made a number of comments about it so…

  2. Hajra July 13, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Life comes packed with loads of memories; some that will be cherished for years later on. The key is to recognize them and appreciate them right there and then. 

  3. bdorman264 July 13, 2012 at 5:38 am

    Taking those mental snapshots and appreciating them for what they are. You never know what will trigger one of those ‘memory lane’ moments. That’s why it is important to try being more in the moment than letting your mind be elsewhere when you are with others. 

    • TheJackB July 14, 2012 at 8:16 am

      I try hard to be in the moment and not get caught up in all of the nonsense that prevents us from focusing. I am not as good at it as I would like, but I am working on it.
      Blogging helps.

  4. rdopping July 13, 2012 at 4:47 am

    That’s more than most would do.

  5. BetsyKCross July 13, 2012 at 4:32 am

    I’m amazed how we have so many moments in time logged away, some triggered by looking at a photograph, others by a song or someone’s question. What really intrigues me is how I won’t remember things that my children said whereas family and friends will have clear memories of them. 
    They still make us who we are, remember them or not! That’s the good thing.

    • TheJackB July 14, 2012 at 8:14 am

      People fascinate me. It is always interesting to me how we decide and determine what is important. Those moments that touch us sometimes are meaningless to others and then we come across one that has universal appeal.
      I wonder about those people who are able to remember everything that has happened to them. What is it like to be able to remember all that has happened? It must be nice to remember the happy things, but some of the harder moments aren’t necessarily things worth remembering…

      • JudyDunn July 14, 2012 at 12:18 pm

         @TheJackB Ah, but Jack, those “harder moments” are where we connect with our fellow [wo]man. Those are the “me, too!” moments that give readers a chill of recognition:  “Yes! That’s me!”
        I am one of those people who remember events from their childhood (which is serving me well as I write my memoir). Okay, it also helps that my dad was the “home movie pioneer” of his day and I have all these reels transferred to CD and I can go back and see myself when I was 8—as well as siblings and parents. It helps greatly when I am writing descriptive scenes.   : )

        • TheJackB July 15, 2012 at 12:00 am

          Hi Judy,
          I understand and agree with you. I pull bits and pieces of the past to write my fiction ( and the pieces that really work all come from my touching the pain I used to feel.
          I am not afraid to look back at the hard moments but I like having to think about it.
          Those home movies can be fun. I keep trying to get my folks to convert the Super 8 stuff they have of us.

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