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Monday, November 29, 2010

Back from Philly:

Back from my visit to Philly. Philadelphia's streets don't "make you feel brand new" like New York, they make you feel old. Old like Benjamin Franklin. Old like The Constitution. Old like it's 1776. Big ups to my skinny jeans and the Philly Cheesesteak that made them harder to slip into.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Grandpa George:

For a long time as a kid I thought my grandparents were indestructible. Actually up until about 1 year ago I thought my grandparents were indestructible, all four of them. They were always so alive and fresh and funny. They didn't use walkers or take medication or live in nursing homes or look sick or sound sad or forget my name. Sitting at my grandma's wooden table with an oversized t-shirt on and my hair a mess from sleeping the night before, I'd plop down for breakfast in the chair closest to the wall and my grandpa would say "Herrrrreee she comes" in a long, drawn out kind of way, his southern accent making everything sound a little bit sweeter. "Hiya poopsie." I remember smelling the thick, black coffee without cream or sugar that my grandpa George would drink every morning. At every meal he would play the same trick, the one where he cuts off the tiniest portion of his meal and plops the little morsel on my plate and says "Here, that's enough for you." I'd look down at it and say "Grandpaaaa, c'mon, that's not enough." A tiny little smirk would cross his face and he'd begin to laugh so hard and then put the rest of my meal on my plate. Or after lunch, he's sneak over to the freezer and pull out some giant tub of sherbet ice cream, spoon some into our dishes and whisper "That's the good stuff right there."

Now my grandpa George sleeps alone at night, he sleeps alone at a care facility because he can't remember my name and he can't remember his. He doesn't remember to call me "Poopsie" anymore and he doesn't know what ice cream is. My grandma doesn't have a husband anymore, she has a child to care for who doesn't recognize his own children. And maybe that's the hardest part, to watch my own dad watching his father slowly fall apart. It's such a funny thing that circle of life. Two nights ago my dad was sitting in the wheel chair next to my grandpa's bed, I came up behind him and said jokingly as I started to push him around, "This could be us one day dad." He laughed and said "I know, you're right, scary isn't it?"

It is. Nowadays we spend our time between work and the hospital. Between laughing, when my grandpa lets a little glimmer of his former comedian out and worrying, over when he'll make his last joke.

"Dear Grandpa,

While you are still here we will love you just as fiercely and laugh just as loudly as ever before. You are a good southern man. I am proud to sit next to you always.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

I turned 24 today:

Today, I turned 24. For months leading up to this birthday I felt apprehensive. I was worried that 24 meant something to the rest of the world that it didn't mean to me. I was worried that I wouldn't have accomplished the things that a 24 year old is meant to. I was worried that I wouldn't feel like myself. I was worried that I was having a quarter-life-crisis, one year too early.

But today has come and gone, and I felt more like myself today than I have in a long time. I did not wake up anxious, riddled with excitement at the prospect of an entire day devoted to me, like I did as a child. I woke up feeling much like I do every morning, a little sleepy and annoyed at my cat for meowing so incessantly at such an hour.

Tonight I shared a great meal at a really cute local restaurant with my sister and my parents. And then we got coffee at a small shop downtown. And it was simple and perfect and just enough. If there is one thing that I'm most proud of after living on this earth for, *gasp* 24 years, its my relationship with my family. It is ever present and ever funny and ever keeping me filled with happiness.

Here's to another 24 years! Wait, that will only make me 48. Here's to another 100 years!