Things That Matter
More than a year ago I wroteÂ A Letter To My Children- Things That Matter because I needed to remind them about what is important in life and I needed them to remember all we have is a brief window to collect a series of moments in time we call experiences.
It is part of why I collect those moments and write about them here, because it is one of the few ways I have to try and immortalize certain things so that I can save them for later.
Last night we talked about how my grandparents would have turned 100 this year and I did some digging to see what I might share…if anything.
Passing The Baton- Grandma is 94 jumped out at me. We took my grandparents out to celebrate my grandmother’s birthday and then when I drove them home this happened:
When I dropped them off at their home I had to take a moment. They both hugged and kissed me goodbye, and then without any further ado they held hands and walked off towards the entrance. When I tried to follow them in my grandfather stuck his cane out and told me not to interrupt his time with his special girl and with a twinkle in his eye told me to tell the office that they wouldnâ€™t make it to dinner tonight.
When grandma was 90 grandpa told me she had the best ass of any 90 year-old woman he knew. I remember the first Passover seder without grandma and the tear that ran down grandpa’s face.
I knew why he cried and I know he died not from old age but of a broken heart.
What Might You Have Said/Done
It is eight years since my paternal grandfather died but sometimes it feels more recent. Sometimes I feel like I can call grandpa and tell him about just how crazy life became after he died and how very much has happened.
I remember after the Northridge Quake in ’94 I drove to his apartment and made him and grandma leave. Grandma really didn’t want to go but I knew the building would be condemned (and it was) and didn’t want to find out if it was going to come downÂ naturallyÂ or with the help of machinery.
So we packed a bag and moved them Â to my parents’ house and grandpa said if he was 65 or younger it would be an adventure but that 80 made it more difficult than he preferred it to be.
And now I think about driving through the desert from California to Texas and then from Texas back to California. I think about the things I saw, experiences I had and the moments that changed my life and I wonder what he might have said or done.
Wonder because my gut tells me I know most if not all of what he would have said or done.
He never did read any of the posts on any of my blogs, but he knew about them and he loved that I was writing,
Things That Matter
People matter. I have reminded myself of and about that a bunch of times recently. Done so because some things have happened that turned my world upside down.
My life is very different than I had imagined it would be. Don’t ask me to list them all because I won’t and it is not because I am trying to be mysterious, different or difficult.
It is because some things I keep just for me and the list of how/why isn’t as significant as my saying that the most important lesson I have learned is to focus upon what I need and what I want.
When you identify the distinction you can make a plan for getting what you need and once you have nailed that down you can look for what you want.
Grandma Did It All Backwards
Sometimes people will talk about how my grandfather was quite the dancer and my mom/aunt point out that grandma was too and that she did it all backwards.
Grandpa was much louder than she was, he liked being the center of attention and she was content to be quiet.
What I think people forget is that grandma was quiet because she wanted to be. She wasn’t the center of attention because she didn’t need it but it made grandpa happy and she liked that because she liked making him happy.
And when I think about them one of the shining moments is from their last days together. Watching them sit next to each other, each in their own reclining chair, holding hands.
If you had seen the look on their faces you’d understand.
Holding hands on a couch–timeless memories.
Joe February 19, 2014 at 9:52 am
My life did not turn out as planned either; I don’t imagine anyone’s life goes as planned.
Jack February 19, 2014 at 6:44 pm
The big question I ask is are we having fun and if not, what can we do to change things. It is ok for life to be different than we expected, hell it might even be better than it would have been. Ok, I am not entirely certain I believe that because being paid millions of dollars to be a pro athlete sounds like all kind of fun to me, but maybe I am happier this way.
I think you are right, life is probably different than most of us expected.