Grandpa was almost 92 when he died. His funeral was held on rolling hills of green grass on a day with endless blue skies.
Google tells me it was one of those picture perfect days of around 80 degrees.
His younger brother, my Uncle George held onto my shoulder alternately sobbing into it and talking into my ear.
When we got back to my parent’s house I noticed I had received multiple calls fro my office.
I couldn’t imagine why they needed me when they knew I was at my grandfather’s funeral. Given the work ethic I was raised with I called my boss back and he told me I was fired.
That ought to give you some kind of sense the character of who I once worked for.
Dad saw the look on my face and asked me to tell him what happened, so I did.
“Fuck ’em, you’ll find something better.”
Fifteen years later there is no doubt Dad was correct, though it took going through hell to get here.
Some say that things happen for a reason and that you learn from every experience. I am certain about the latter and agnostic about the former.
On the evening of another Yahrzeit, number three, I have many thoughts but few that I’ll share here.
Love Me, Like Me Or Don’t
The younger Mr. Wilner and I spent most of the evening together and I was grateful for the time.
We’re well past the days in which he saw me as superman and wanted to spend all of his time with me.
Now I get pieces and fragments punctuated by moments where he fully engages with me and then withdraws.
It is familiar to me because I did it too. You want to hang out but at the same time you want to be your own man and have so many things to do.
“Grandpa would be so proud of you. You have accomplished more than you realize. I am sorry I can’t share with him.”
He nodded his head, we spoke for a little while longer and then he went to his room.
“I need to go to bed earlier, it is a work day tomorrow.”
I nodded and smiled and thought about all that has come and all that is yet to come.
Five or six years ago Dad spent a good hour on the phone talking with me about a couple of thorny issues.
Midway through he surprised me and I nearly dropped the phone.
“I wish my Dad was here, he would know better than I do about what to say.”
Dad had praised his father before so that wasn’t a shock, but the way he did it this time was different.
Yahrzeit number three doesn’t strike me as a moment where I wish he was here because he would know what to say better than I do, though it is entirely possible.
It hits me because there are so many good things to share coming off of the crazy and chaotic.
That seems to be a pretty damn good reason among many to miss him, because I would like to share good things.
May every yahrzeit to come be the same as this one.