Simple Times, Special Memories…

Grampy Art and my daughter

Grampy Art and my daughter, Kelly

We all experience bumps in the road, challenges in life that may meet us head-on, or those that creep up gradually, weighing us down until we choose to turn the corner.  The deciphering factor?  How we decide to meet them.  To me, the stepping-stones of life, whatever we choose to do – good, bad, or indifferent – they are representative of the path our life takes.

Experiencing the awareness of loss, at the impressionable age of eight, had a huge impact on me…life can change in an instant.  I became keenly aware, without defining it as such – life is precious. The tragic loss?  The brother of a classmate.  A child, like myself.  The awareness of my own mortality (and my family’s) had become an all-too-soon reality…bombarded by the uninvited process of filtering it all in, to my innocent, fantasy-filled brain.

I have experienced many losses in my life since that day.  An overload of reality, yet, that is the path my life has taken.  It is a part of life.  Perhaps my experience with loss brought me to a broader compassion and understanding, and helped guide me toward pursuing a joyful reality…that of  becoming an author.

“Grampy Art” passed away less than three years after I wrote “Grampy and Me.”  That was over 30 years ago.  I was so happy Art was able to see my book (in rough draft) before he passed away.  The night I finished it, I brought it over to his house, right next door.  He sat at his kitchen table, and read it.  Art then looked up, smiled, and with a twinkle in his eye said, “Yup.”  That meant the world to me.  I knew he liked it, and was touched by the story.  He was a man of few words, but his actions spoke loud and clear.  I was thrilled to see it meant so much to him.  I read it to my daughter the next morning.  Although just 3 1/2 years old, she was happy and excited.  It was her special story, and Grampy Art’s.

Life and motherhood put the next step – actually publishing my book – aside.  It is all in the timing.

“Grampy and Me” touches upon many things.  The importance of times shared: planting a garden; working together; laughing; the thrill of watching everything grow; and to pick and enjoy the vegetables and fruit it yields.  The simple things in life that bring much joy – planting the seeds of wonderful memories, to last a lifetime.  Putting busyness aside.  Taking the time to simply be together.

“Grampy and Me” also touches upon the subject of adoption, as in “Emily” adopting Art as her “Grampy.”  She did not have a Grampy.  This true story reflects the kindness, caring, and unconditional love they shared.  My daughter (as “Emily” in the book), is now grown.  “Grampy and Me” will forever be a meaningful part of her life.

Memories are born in the moment.  This story could have been easily lost.  Never to be captured in the beautiful way it unfolded, to be unforgetably placed in our memory…with great love.  To be shared, so you would be able to enjoy it, too…with your children, grandchildren…or a friend.  Stepping aside from the busyness brought this story to light and life.

I am thankful to have the opportunity to share this unique and special story with you.  I am deeply grateful to have been able to share it with Grampy Art, and the memorable connection in watching him read it for the first time.  “Yup.”  Even as I type this, I cannot help but have it tug upon my heart, all these years later.

What memories are tucked away in the midst of your day, just waiting to be captured?   A trip to the zoo, a treasure hunt, or a spur-of-the-moment family talent show?  Or maybe making a garden, or reading a book together.  May I suggest “Grampy and Me?”  Whatever it is, keep it simple.  I believe you will be happy with the joy it brings, and the special memory shared.

A big “Thank you” to Art, for being the “Grampy Art” my daughter will always hold so dear, as will I.  And, to my sweet daughter, Kelly, who brought to me a very special side of love.


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