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gramps

liz lamoreux

my grandfather died on march 28 as jon and i were on a plane flying across the country to south carolina to see him. we spent the last week with my family. i was able to stay in my grandparents' home.

it was a gift to stay in that home for six nights as family came and went. it was a gift to take down a mug from the cupboard for tea . to sit on my grandfather's bed and lay my head on his pillow . to walk around the yard in the morning chill and see the lily of the valley peeking out and hear the neighborhood children's laughter....

it was a gift to show my family the family tree she had shown me the last day i saw her in 2004 . to hear my uncles talk . to hear the glass of the china cabinet rattle and remember hearing it as a child when i would walk through the living room hoping not to get caught but then suddenly that noise would fill the house and i would scurry out before she found me and then to share that very same memory with my cousin...

it was a gift to stand before him and tell him how much their love shaped me and how i would share that love for all my days . to listen to my great-aunt tell the stories and the tall tales and the snippets of truths i did not know . to hold jon's hand when i struggled and to always know he was there as a constant source of grounding for us . to feel my mom's arms around me when i crumbled when the surrealness gave way to truth . to share moments of what is real with my brother...

it was a gift to walk through the house and soak up every corner and breathe in the smells and take in every texture and open my heart to memories . to hear my uncle sing a song grandpa sang to us all and in that moment to be able to hear his voice fill that kitchen and remember that it always lives within me, within us, and know that the energy surrounds us if we are still enough to feel it...



gramps and me . at the beach . probably 1978

it was a gift that my mother held the phone up to his ear that night before so that i could say i love you and to then hear him rally for a moment and recognize my voice and tell me he would see me soon and to hear him say i love you and then repeat those words again as she took the phone away . it was a gift to have those last words be the last words i would hear and to know he was saying them to me . it was a gift to see the photo of him with me and take it home in the frame so that i could have a little piece of him, of us . it was a gift that today, as i am back in my home now, that i easily found the poem he wrote a few years back and emailed me...it is a gift to find that poem today and hold him in the space around my heart...

In my room on a chest
sets a picture, one of those I like the best.
A man and a child walk along in the sand,
He looks down at her as he holds her hand,
she's looking back at someone and seems to say,
don't worry, I'm with my grandpa today.

*****

i'm going to take some time away from here for a bit. and i know, in the way things go, i will most likely be in and out with notes to share, but for a couple of weeks, starting tomorrow, some friends have agreed to step in and share some words and posts and links and really good things with you here in this space.

thank you for reading and being out there in the world...

blessings,

liz