Saturday, October 29, 2011

Great Grandpa's Poems

This poem was written and self published by my great grandfather.  I remember this little room he talks about.  He lived there in my Grandfather's house in old age, with his pictures hung of my Great Grandmother and her ashes in his room.  Some might call that strange, but he kept them so that when he died they could be mixed together and spread out into the wind and in so doing return to the dust and earth together forever.  His poems bring tears to my eyes every time I read them, even when they aren't sad.  Such a brilliant and impassioned life he led.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

In the company of old friends

It's funny how old friends can sometimes just make you feel good.  It must be old home week around here because I have been doing a lot of visiting with old friends lately.  And I mean, the kind of friends that knew me before I could write my name. 

Today I took the kids to an apple cider press party.  The gal that invited us was a friend from Jr. High, who had married a boy I knew from Kindergarten.  I must admit that I am envious that they found each other and are so happy together.  They've known each other for years and years.  What could be more comforting than that?  We spent a few minutes laughing and chatting about riding the same kindergarten bus as kids and going to the same schools for all those years.  Those are the kind of memories I love.  I knew her from my pre-algebra class, and we had gym and science together.  Those were good days.  Awkward growing up years, and not so awkward.  Now we have kids and life marches onward.

My great grandfather married his high school sweetheart.  They were 16.  Until the day he died my grandpa loved her like she was his whole world.  She passed before him, and for the 8 years he lived after her, he wrote her love poems.  It's crazy how some people are so lucky to find that, to know how to cultivate that, to fight for it, and to live for it.  Sometimes that seems all too rare these days.

I went to visit my other grandpa in his apartment in an assisted living facility here in town not too long ago, and we often talk about my grandmother.  She is long dead, but we still reminisce about how perfect she was.  Nothing could match her.  He's remarried, going on eleven years now, to a lovely lady, but they are getting very elderly now and he may bury his second wife one of these days, bless her soul.  I love that guy, my gramps, such a tough old bird.  I keep pictures of him up on my refrigerator and a painting of his beloved Fairliner boat in my room.

Maybe someday I'll find that kind of love.  Maybe someplace in the company of old friends.