In the last few years I’ve never missed an opportunity to reflect on my grandpa’s birthday. He was born 20 days and 80 years before me. But this year, even though I remembered his 110th birthday, I didn’t write about it. And so, a week later, after finally feeling like I have a moment to breathe and spend some time writing, I’m am reflecting.
Many of my fondest memories of my grandpa, in his true state, are snippets: pieces strung together that I grasp onto tightly so they don’t escape my memory. I remember the way he’d wink at us, I remember his stories about his trips to Jerusalem, I remember the laundry room and playground at the last apartment he had before moving to the nursing home, I remember his faith.
Unfortunately, many of his “good” years were when I was too young to remember or before I was even born. But I never doubted the love he had for his family and his God. I love hearing stories of him in the garden, his daily regiment of apple cider vinegar, and his dedication to not only the Methodist Church, but also his local congregation.
In many ways he is someone who still has a very strong influence on my life. I find special connections to him to this day, even if they may be slightly created in my mind at points. To me, there are things that will always keep us connected. And I am thankful for his presence in my life.
As my mom grew older, one of the first things I started to notice was how much she resembled her father. To many that may not be noteworthy, but because so many people tell me how much I look like my mom, it was 100% endearing to me to see her resembling him and then by association myself resembling him as well. This holds a very special place in my hear.
Happy belated 110, Lowell. Thank you for watching over me.