Sometimes it is hard
Part of being in a family is passing on oral traditions. For my immediate family that partially means passing on every inane movie quote that the 5 of us kids ever retained during our growing-up years. Although we do pass along real life quotes from family vacations – “I’m HOT!” “Are you *sure* that’s JUST one scoop???” “Well, you know, ticks always come in pairs.” Our memories are relived through dialogue and reenactment and lots of laughter.
But oral traditions are also a way to remember and celebrate the wisdom of moments past. Robin and I just celebrated our 3rd wedding anniversary last week. We spent time remembering the people who helped to make our wedding day memorable. We watched our wedding video and contemplated, once again, the wisdom that my grandpa shared, “Endure, Forgive, Build Each Other Up.”
My grandpa suffered a stroke on the day that my parents left us to fly back to the States. He has stabilized and has a positive prognosis at this point, but the last two weeks have been full of uncertainty and frustration over the distance between us. It’s so hard to be this far away!
But I am thankful for all of the oral traditions that he has given us to pass on to Ellie Jo. She might not know him as the man who came to her every violin recital, but I do. She might never experience a quiet evening by the campfire in the Goat Rocks with him, but I have. She might not get to take a cross-country road trip with him, but I have taken three and will share many stories of rattlesnake skins by the road, blown engines, Wall Drug, guitars falling onto the freeway and many nights spent in Walmart parking lots.
However many summers that Ellie Jo gets to spend with her great-grandpa, we’ll help her remember their time together. She first met him a few hours after her birth. He and Great-Grammy drove out to the house as soon as they heard she’d been born. He was one of the first people to hear her name. Those are his hands in the picture above. And so the stories are built…
We hope for many more years to add to them.