Sunday, November 16, 2008

Do You Remember

I saw you today, for the first time in over a year.
You gave me a big bear hug that seemed to swallow me, even though you only came to my chin.
Grandpa! I've missed you! Dude, you've shrunk.
He looked at me, smiled, and called me by my given name
that's barely familiar enough to even claim as my own.
(you're the only one who calls me that)
You seemed frailer to me, and well, older
and though you are in excellent shape, better than any other
88 year old I know,
I found myself looking at you and
wondering
where all the time went.
I wanted to talk to you, really talk to you
but
instead
my throat closed and I
found myself asking you about the rest of the family,
really boring and
menial
things.
I didn't know how to say what I really wanted to say:
do you remember when you used to buy Cinnamon Toast Crunch just for me and Brett when you knew we were coming to visit?
Do you remember that I used to call you Grandpa Hairy Arms?
Do you remember that you're the best story-teller I know?
Do you still have that tea set I used to play with? Do you remember I'd pour water in the miniature cups and break up saltines and call them crumpets?
Do you remember?
I do.
I remember your beautiful orchards heavy with walnuts.
I remember your wrap-around porch, and the way the frogs used to climb the kitchen window at night when it was so hot outside.
I remember the pancakes you used to make that were the size of dinner plates, and I remember that you got upset when we didn't eat at least two.
I remember when Grandma died, and I remember thinking you were so brave.
Do you remember singing us the songs you used to sing to her?
Do you remember, when I was a child, holding me in your arms, and I felt so safe?
I do.
Do you?
My eyes sting now, burn hot with shame and regret when I think that I said none of these things to you tonight. None of them.
And I realize
my life is a series
of regrets, missed opportunities,
one
after
another.
But I have tomorrow.
Yes, I have one more day with you.
And I will ask you
if you
remember.
I will help you
remember
all the reasons I
love you.

8 comments:

Krystle said...

This is so beautiful, Brie. Tell him. I know you are strong enough. He sounds wonderful. *Hugs*

H said...

First off, you have an excellent memory! But most importantly, like you said, you haven't missed your "chance" to tell him all these beauftiful things! Even if you get all weirded out tomorrow, there's still such a thing as letter wriring......but it is nice to hear something so wonderful straight from the person's mouth. You are so insightful and I'm sure your grandpa loves you mroe than you know.

Shannon said...

Wow. I'm tearing up thinking of all the things I have wanted to say to people and haven't. Thank you for that inspiring post. I hope you take your chance to say all those wonderful things to your grandpa. I miss mine. He died back in February. I think he really did remember though. . .

Krista said...

That is too sweet! It makes me miss my grandpa that has passed and want to hug the one I still have. I think you should tell him or write him.

DaftDragon said...

This is beautifully written. Good luck opening up :)

ania said...

Dear Brie,

I really appreciate these words. I am not sure of the context, but whatever it may be, I believe that opportunities missed can help us to be alert to opportunities to come.

Here's to those connections for you.

With respect and care....

Misty said...

omgosh. I just had G-pa here for 3 hours and I felt the EXACT same way! I had no idea you were feeling that too. Why do we do that? BTW - where were you today? I saved lunch for you! Are you ok?

Jackie said...

So sweet B, this was truly touching. Remember to tell him.

xoxoxoxo