Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ireland to New York to California

My Grandfather passed away.

He taught me chess, lost his wedding ring finger in World War II, and flicked his right thumb compulsively with his index finger when driving his Oldsmobile. He only ever raised his voice in frustration once in the entire time I'd been blessed to know him like I did. He became hard of hearing in the more recent years and I'd enjoy huddling up close to him to talk quietly, anecdotally.

When I was a young lad, he'd take me bowling with my grandmother and sister, drive me to museums far, far away, and the two of us would play croquet accompanied by sunsets on my grandparents' front lawn while my grandmother cooked meals with the attentive love and simple, nourishing pleasantries that only her unbridled laughter could match. I'd fall asleep adjacent to flames kindled by him inside their dark red brick fireplace after toying with embers, vertical wood-panel walls enhancing an already ultra-cozy feeling and safety, wrapped up in blankets on a pull-out couch become bed, listening to the crickets harmonize with the tick-tick-tock of my grandfather's grandfather clock.