My Facebook post about a conversation with a man about being a Shmata Hunters and a demolition expert got more attention than I expected.
Even the queen of Shmatas noticed it, not that I was surprised because eventually all of my words are read…twice.
It has been a crazy few days here in the Lonestar state. Mom and three of her grandkids flew in from three different states and we have had a nice time catching up.
Given that we haven’t seen each other in since Dad’s unveiling two years ago and that we have all been through the craziness around Covid19 it is nice to get together for something not related to death/mourning.
The usual chaos of our family gatherings is still present which is familiar, comforting and still infuriating at times.
The latter moments is when I find myself thinking I am going to go wake up the old man from his nap and ask him to fix something or kvetch for a moment.
We did it on every trip, but he is not here. It is going to be bittersweet when we reach the point that I don’t expect to see him walk into the room.
It is 35 months since he died so I don’t have the same sense of surprise that he is gone as I once did.
There are fewer instances of the shock that accompanied the realization that we couldn’t spend time together in person, just acceptance of a hard truth.
Yet circumstances have created this situation where our family has had very little time together in person so I have gotten reacquainted with that aforementioned shock again.
The ice bucket over my head dumps an enormous amount of freezing water on my head, figuratively of course.
The youngest grandson measures his hand and feet against mine because my own are the same size as his grandfather’s.
“Uncle Josh, I think my feet might be longer and my hands are about the same.”
I smile and make a fist and he follows suit.
“Your fingers might one day be longer, but look at the size of my fist against yours. Your grandfather and I had/have much thicker fingers. Our feet are much wider.”
He is 15 and I appreciate his desire and interest as I remember those days.
“We all grow however we grow, can’t do much about those things.”
Looking at his fist next to mine brings back the memories of comparing my hands against Dad’s and how anxious I was to have a bigger hand.
If my nephew keeps growing as he is he will undoubtedly be taller but with a much slighter frame, similar to our uncle, Dad’s little brother.
The crazy pillow salesman from TV shows up at the hotel and passes by us. I don’t know why he is there, if he is attending a convention or just looking for more conspiracy theorists.
He sees me pointing at him and we make eye contact. I don’t know if he hears me yelling if he is looking for votes and to check under a planter or sewer grate.
Twenty minutes earlier I saw an old van in the parking lot that says it is part of an organization that wants to convince my people to convert.
I mutter to no one in particular, “All of the nut jobs are here today” and wait for Dad to share his own thoughts.
He doesn’t and I shake my head at myself.
“You know better Josh. Come back to reality.”
I try, but for a moment I think about building a time machine and writing a story around it called Time Is A Mysterious Accordion.
Instead I put in my airpods and listen to Johnny Cash singing and get lost in thoughts about other people and places.
What a crazy world it is.