Thursday, May 07, 2009


Yesterday, the fam got some not so good news about my g-pa. Because my parents were young when I was born (24!) and their parents were even younger, we have collectively avoided the parental mortality issue. Hell, I have a great grandma still kickin' it at 87 or so. That's how we do in the OK. Right so, the news is not good. It's not entirely surprising, but still sobering.

Yesterday, I drove my brother to the ol' homestead from the hospital where the testing was conducted and rummaged around my old room for forgotten treasures. I like to do this once in a while when I get a serious urge to shop, so I shop for my own stuff! Pure genius, I know. I opened my closet to see what booty was held within, but instead of finding an awesome pair of shoes from college or cds that've been missing for five years, I found lots of small boxes mailed from said g-pa to my dad.

I opened several (they'd already been opened and they were in my closet, so it was justified snoopage) and discovered that my g-pa has been sending my dad trinket upon trinket from Dad's childhood for the last few months. One contained an engraved pocket knife given to my dad God knows when. Another contained the yellow stuffed bear Dad carried around for years, completely intact, preserved in a Ziploc bag, accompanied by a note detailing its origins. There's a jar of marbles and a box of old metal Tonka trucks. A neatly folded eagle scout kerchief. Recordings of poems written and read by G-pa's dad. Cards, books with inscriptions, handwritten notes, receipts with stories of their inception, photos with names and dates scrawled across the back.

These tangible things. The crumbling stuffed bear, weathered photos, withered papers. My memories are still somewhat tactile, but my brother, seven years younger - what's he left with? A flash drive? MP3 player? Screenshots of emails sent? Digital photos lost in the throes of Facebook? A NintendoDS? I'll preoccupy myself with the larger implications of technology outpacing our hearts instead of the physical evidence of a great mind recognizing its impending limitations.


Big Daddy said...

Sorry to hear about your grandfather.

Jess said...

Seconded. It's a big smack in your face when you have to begin dealing with the mortality of your family members.

What your grandpa is doing is so sweet. And it's sad to think that my nephew won't have the tangible things I do or that my parents and grandparents do from their youth.

blythe said...

thanks big daddy. it's just weird. it's bound to happen, but it still sucks.

jess - yeah, it's the first, but i suspect not the last in a rapid domino succession. that's gonna really suck. it is weird to think about how much a handwritten or typed piece of paper can convey.

Michael5000 said...

Coming to the B-spot and finding moving poignance is like, I don't know, getting on the wrong plane and ending up in Venice instead of Cancun. It's cool, but it's not what you expected.

Sorry about your grandpa, blythe.