4.26.2008

anniversaries


Today, April 26th, is the two-year anniversary of my grandpa's death.  It's strange.  To be honest, I had forgotten.  I have little to no recollection for this particular date, only that I recall that it was mid-April (ish), but I thought it was earlier.   

I remember exactly where I was when I found out (Gettysburg College, senior parking lot, driver's seat) and events afterwards, but I have literally no memory connected with those events happening on any day in particular.   How very strange, but not altogether unsurprising.  

My aunt sent out an email a few weeks ago letting us know of the upcoming anniversary (which, incidentally, was how I found out when it was) and a suggestion that we use the day to spend it thinking of Grampa and do something that reminded us of him. 

Well, I forgot that it was today.  I forgot, that is, until I started to get emails in my inbox from various & sundry relations, forgot again, and remembered as I am heading to bed, as the day is turning into the next.  

I'm not sure yet what I will do.  Right now, I'm listening to a recording of Clair de Lune, which has certain points in the melody that bring out such quick, sharp memories that it surprises me.

I finally finished Atlas Shrugged.  I've had it for 6 years.  He bought it for me (of course).  I finally re-started reading it a few weeks ago, and could barely put it down.

I return again to the Edith Wharton quote that I read during the memorial service, and perhaps it's something good to meditate on:

"...one can remain alive long past the usual date of disintegration if one is unafraid of change, insatiable in intellectual curiosity, interested in big things, and happy in small ways."  

I stick by that being a consummate description of Gramps.  

I suppose the real point is, at least for me, Gramps was such a key figure in my life that I can't help but think of him.  

Little things: pianos, skiing, hawai'i, green grapes, the waldorf=astoria (not so little), Lincoln...  It surrounds me.  Even my cherry-blossom print, which has not yet found a home on my wall.  

Those are my every-day memories, the things that make me smile.  It's the things I don't expect, that crop up in unexpected ways, that are how I cherish his memory. 

Another year will pass soon, and I will most likely forget the date again.  That doesn't matter.  What matters is the love, the happy memories -- I was just reminded of Kemp's Koffee Korner and those marine-layer mornings! -- and lessons learnt.  Be a leader!

2 comments:

Anne Hummel said...

I especially love looking at your tags. "Deep thoughts." Perfect and wonderful. Love mom

JKB said...

The photo of you and your Grandpa at the beach is one of my all time favorites.

I'm looking at your Grandpa's last Christmas card. It's right where it has always been since the day I got it - on the wall above my computer screen in my kitchen. I look at it MANY times a day and always smile... sometimes with tears in my eyes. I love all the beautiful smiles, especially his smile (so proud, so happy). It's hard to believe it's been two years since I last hugged him. For me, he lives on in you and your wonderful cousins.