Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Newest Pack Member

    Friday marked Nathan's second month as the latest addition to Mika's pack.

     While the noise level in the house is decidedly higher now that Nathan has come along, the border collie is taking it in stride. I wonder if this little man is going to be as adventurous as his big sister, who has spent the last twenty minutes riding her Fisher Price car down the hill behind the house. She added another gray hair to my beard when ran into the rocks surrounding our fire circle. Thankfully, my daring little girl stayed upright and walked her car right back to the top of the hill to do it again...away from the rocks. 

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Remembering Grandma Su

      Recent days have been spent in sadness and disbelief. Grandma Su, the family matriarch, passed away quickly and without warning, with the rest of us having no chance to have one last conversation. That last bit is the cut that hurts the most. However, there are a few life lessons, both serious and humorous, learned from her that help temper the pain.

  1. When you’re proud of your kids, shout it from the rooftops. Be that parent. 
  2. Don’t be rushed away from a good meal. Enjoy it. Especially dessert.
  3. As much as it may drive your family crazy, accept your mortality as you grow older and let your loved ones know. Don’t let the subject be taboo. For me, at least, I accepted it along with her and it makes this a little bit easier.
  4. Likewise, be grateful for every minute you draw breath. I couldn’t count on all my fingers and toes the amount of times I heard how happy she was to live past the ripe old age of 76, let alone how overjoyed she was to live long enough to meet her first great-grandchild.
  5. When you see a talent in someone, something they enjoy, don’t stop nagging encouraging them until they make it a goal they pursue.
  6. Don’t be afraid to speak your mind. Just remember there is such a thing as TMI. Please.
  7. Save the cardboard tubes from wrapping paper. The twenty minutes two brothers spend beating the sh*t out of each other with them will be the best twenty minutes they have all week.
  8. Keep up with current technology. You try explaining how to create a shutterfly photo book to a woman who, up until a few months ago, took all her pictures with disposable cameras and thought an email address told people where you lived. (And, yes, kids, there existed a time when you were limited to just two or three dozen shots and had to look through a viewfinder, not a screen, to take a picture.)
  9. When you appreciate something someone does, don’t keep it a secret. Let them know.
  10. Tell your grandkids stories about their dad (or mom). The incriminating stories are the best kind. 
  11. Watch football.  
  12. Giving someone your time for long conversations is showing them your love. Your voice will be one of the things they remember most after you’re gone.    
     The coming holidays will be hard. Birthdays without gaudy, overly decorated envelopes for cards won't be the same. Grandma Su, you're missed. Don't worry, though, you will be remembered.