It’s strange sometimes the things that can remind you of someone, a person that may not have crossed your mind for a long time or had a reason to think about. A song, a place, an article of clothing or a certain type of food. The most arbitrary of catalyst triggering remembrance.
A few days ago I looked out at an extremely crowded waiting room at work and thought about my grandmother, passed about twenty years now. I looked out at the mass of people, turned to the student that was shadowing me, and remarked that “they must be giving away something for nothing here.” It was a line that my grandmother used whenever we would pull into a parking lot that contained more than a handful of cars. As a child I found it much more humorous than the student seemed to.
She lived farther away from us than either of my children’s grandparents now do, but was an important figure in my life growing up. Summers meant vacations at their house. A week solo for myself, one for my brother, and then a week when we were both there. This time was spent working in their garden, swimming in the only privately owned pool that I knew of, and watching old episodes of Get Smart and Batman using a new innovation in technology called “cable television.” It was also a time for reading, hours spent in silence as we lay across her bed in silence, each privately engrossed in whatever novel currently had our attention.
My girls are very fortunate to have two grandmothers and a grampy that are very involved in their lives, as are my brother’s twins. When she was younger a grandfather that has since passed was a very important role model in the teenager’s life and I sometimes wonder if she may have avoided a few of the pitfalls that she has stumbled into if that influence was still with her.
Over the past few years several very close friends of mine have been confronted with their parent’s mortality. Passage for some, ongoing fights for health continuing for others. It’s something that’s painful to consider, but a reality that we all must one day face. One more reminder to cherish every day that we have with those that we love.
I think that recent thoughts of my grandmother may have been subliminally influenced by this picture, taken to commemorate the little’s first 100 days of kindergarten. It’s meant to depict what she will look like at 100 years old. My daughter absolutely hates it, but I think it’s hysterical. It also kind of reminds me of somebody.