5/07/2014

Memoirs

If you follow me on Facebook or instagram (which, if you are reading this...  means you do.  Because I don't think my readership extends past cousins and my mom) you know that my Grampa Roy is very ill.  His cancer is terminal, and he is receiving hospice care at home.  We traveled to Denver to see him last weekend.  It was the only time my grandparents have seen all four of our boys together.  I usually fly out there my myself...  just me and whatever baby is still nursing.  Because someone is always nursing.  

It's so hard to imagine my world without him in it...  

I know that I am beyond blessed and lucky to have known my grandparents.  So many do not have the privilege.  And I am even more fortunate to have known them as an adult.  To know your older family members when you are a child is so different.  You love them of course, but you don't yet have the perspective to really appreciate how amazing they are.  To be awed by the brilliance that years of experience, loss and love have made.  To see how the triumphs and failures of a life well lived have shaped a truly wonderful human being.

When we were in Denver last week, I asked my Grampa if there was anything I could do for him.  He had been writing out some of his memories, his stories as he called them.  Six pages of tiny, even writing in pencil.  Apparently, when you are dying, hospice gives you worksheets.  I know, right?  Worksheets.  They are really a guide, a checklist of things to do to get your affairs in order.  His memoirs are hand written in pencil on the back of these worksheets.  This is so fitting to me...  He didn't need these guidelines, these checklists.  Because he lived.  He really lived.  It's done.  He's taken care of all of us.  We all know how much we mean to him.  Because he has never, ever failed to show us.

I set up my camera and took some video footage while we were there also.  Telling his stories in his own words, with his own voice.  Sometimes it's hard to hear him over the clatter of my baby playing at my feet.  Or the thunder of the older boys and their cousins running through the house.  But that only makes the scene more precious.  

When I returned home I spent about four days compiling his writings with my video footage.  Double checking the military history with Naval records (incredibly accurate, by the way.  How on earth does a 90 year old man remember so well?) and hammering it out as fast as I could.  I think I've channeled all of my grief, all of my feelings of loss and despair into this project.  Because here is one little thing I have control over.  Nothing else.  But I do have control over this one little corner of this experience.  

So I've sunk my teeth into it.  Like a rabid pit bull.  It surly has typos.  I know it could be better.  It probably seriously needs editing.  And a second draft.  And maybe a third. But I don't know that there is time for that.  So.  It's done.
Typos, imperfections, huge old people font and all, I think it will be available on amazon.com sometime next week.  Which is insane.  But I think it will make him smile.

 photo joyful-sig_zps350c7fb1.jpg

2 comments:

katrina adams said...

Hey friend! Is this out yet? Couldn't find it on amazon today. Your grandfather sounds like an incredible man and I look forward to reading his story. You really are lucky to have known your grandparents - I have no memories with any of mine, they all passed away when I was very young.

katrina adams said...

Hey friend! Is this out yet? Couldn't find it on amazon today. Your grandfather sounds like an incredible man and I look forward to reading his story. You really are lucky to have known your grandparents - I have no memories with any of mine, they all passed away when I was very young.

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