Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's starting to get a little cloudy

Family Post #3
Sometimes, people just get old is the way the nurse explained to Bill Murray's character in Groundhog Day. And I guess it's true. At least until we get that stem cell thing worked out...thanks George. And sometimes tomorrow actually comes, and then what? I guess I'll find out soon.

My grandfather has lived a full life, one of adventure and family, at once both full and yet confined mostly to the low country of South Carolina. And now apparently at ninety plus, we're not quite sure of his real age, one has to be realistic about how things are going. He's been for most of my life, well heck all of my life, pretty much a force of nature. Now, not so much.

You always knew it would be someday that they might leave you, but you just kinda figured someday was always in the future.

I never realized how orderly my life was until I tried to change it or until change came to me. We all prefer the gradual easing into new concepts, so seamlessly that we struggle to even remember how we functioned before now. But now it seems like everything is shifting at once, so many things in flux that the effect is that of a never ending earthquake tremor that you just keep hoping will end so you can get back to whatever normal is. Only earthquakes, or really in this case, life-quakes rarely leave things "normal."

Last time I saw him, he was grinning and showing off the ring tones on his new cell phone. My grandfather with a cell phone.

I worry now for Grandmother. They've been together 70 years, and I wonder if this won't be that which prematurely ends her. They seem inseparable.

Everyone in my family older than myself, I've known my whole life. And I'm not young anymore, so that statement resonates even more lately. I guess it only stands to reason as I slip onto the backside - or depending on your attitude, the good part or groove - of middle age that my parents and their parents would suffer the passage of time as well. I find it hard to believe that this wondrous consciousness just winks out of existence when the body fails us.

When I learned to drive my grandfather gave me one great piece of advice: Keep moving. It's one that I've been able to apply to more than driving. When you hit a rough patch in life, you keep moving, keep doing what you're doing no matter how little traction you seem to get, even if it's just creeping along, and like driving through a terrible patch of get to the other side where things smooth back out.

Life happens. Even when we've made other plans...but I got a whole lot of living left to do.

I talked to my brother and appears he's back on the right track. But it does make you think.

Barkeep. I know I'm not drinking...but a little moonshine from the good still.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still remember the last time I saw my grandfather. He was standing on the front porch waving goodbye to me. He always watched and waved until I was out of sight- and I have often wondered if either of us had any inkling that would be the last glimpse we would have. I still remember the way his paper-thin skin would glide against the back of his hand when he would hold mine as we walked and he showed off his roses. I still remember the way his laugh sounded and the chicken scratch of his handwriting. They say as long as someone remembers you that you are not truly dead but I realize that my neices and nephews have no true knowledge of such of wonderful man and that I am getting older and with my passing the last memories of him will finally die as well. Maybe that's how it works. I don't remember my great-grandfather and no one took the time to tell me about him- and even if they did, would their stories have as much emotional impact on me? It's been ten years and I still cry when I think how much I miss my grandparents and how much I would love to crawl back in that big bed between them when all the world was right.