Saturday, September 20, 2008

"Miracle of Coffee"

So. The last item I have that I tangibly associate with my grandpa is gone.

His Nescafé cup, which was made of plain glass and had the world and Nescafé etched on. I can still see him sitting there at the breakfast table. We had those bowls that were huge for breakfast and well, I can see it, but the words to describe it aren't coming quick and I don't really have time to write this.

I can tell that I'm past the depression, maybe at a "zero" in the plus five, negative five scale, which means I'm normal, woo hoo! as I didn't cry. I picked up the pieces, put them in an empty Kleenex box, and took the kitchen rug downstairs to beat out the shards that I couldn't see. I thought about taking a picture, but I'm too tired.

I'm still tempted, and I don't know if that's cuz I'm overly sentimental or that it really was the last Grandpa thing I had.

Grandma was the one who wrote cards, typed on greeting cards with her ancient typewriter, so I have stuff from her, and even a card with a magnet on the fridge. And she's only been gone three or four years--I can't remember exactly. Crap. But Grandpa has been gone since my senior year in college. And no one lives in Washington, NJ anymore, my aunt and uncle sold their house even before Grandma died.

So now I'm all awash in family memories and I have no dates to match up anything. My uncle died in 2001, I remember that b/c I was in grad school and it was a few months after 9/11. The last time we saw him alive was the weekend after 9/11. Imagine being in an airport in NY (I think it was JFK, but it could have been LaGuardia) that weekend. Everyone getting used to all the new security...there was an editorial in the NYT that day that I would love to retrieve.

Welll, time to go to work. I'm wearing my "pink is the new black" t-shirt.


KitchenKiki said...

I think your grandma has been gone about 5 years. I remember going to the memorial service with HP & I think it was before we got married, but while we were engaged.

Time slips away like that. I reference a lot of memories around things that have identifiable dates (like being not married for the year & the memorial service for your grandma was in December near the anniversary of my mom's death).

I think the tangible things are nice reminders, but they are just things. You still have the memory of breakfast with grandpa.

Sending hugs

Katrina said...

I'm sorry about your cup, but I'm so glad it didn't send you into a tailspin. I also have 9/11 memories all tied up in my head with a personal loss. My cousin had died in a car accident the week before and I was in the airport on my way to his funeral in Michigan when all the planes were grounded. I never made it. My husband had to drive to Seattle and pick me up.

*insert appropriate segue line here*

I'd love to see a photo of your t-shirt!

Sarah Louise said...

@kiki Thanks for the frame of reference. It was so great of you to come to Grandma's service (being that it's the other side of the family) Yeah, I remember that G died pretty close to the anniv of your mom. We piece together these memories. Btw, in case I haven't said it lately, You rock!

@katrina, I have a picture of that shirt on this blog somewhere, I think, but I can't find it. I have it at home, and I'll post it soon. Thanks for stopping by.

Heidi Renee said...

hey sl - one of the best things that i have ever done is to start to make a chart/book/journal of the years in my life - i started with what grade i was in and when, then filled in the high points i could remember and every time i had a question i refered back to it, if i had a memory i filled it in to the best of my ability.

then when i spoke with family i could start to clarify things, place them in a time line and begin to flesh out my empty spaces.

i can look back at it at any time when i have a question and know that it's authoritative because IT'S MINE :D