I have had a hard time writing, because the elder who inspired my research and so much more, my last remaining grandparent, and one of my best friends in life, is gone.
This week we – Gramps’ family – will gather in his home one last time for Thanksgiving. We travel with hearts full of gratitude and heavy with sadness.
A line from my Gramps’ favorite Streisand songs runs over and over in my head: “People who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”
I now see that I really needed my grandfather, and he was there for me. I feel so lucky to have had 40 years of unconditional love and support from Gramps. I have learned so much about politics, movies, well-being, kindness, and generosity from this man. And I am convinced that Gramps made it his primary goal to boost the confidence of those he cared about. So I always felt needed and loved by him. How cool is that?
I am thankful for the closeness of the family he left behind. In many ways, Gramps fostered and sustained family togetherness and ritual that we will always treasure. Like modeling gratefulness. One funny Thanksgiving Gramps announced how proud he was that his family wasn’t into drugs. In fact, our success (above and beyond being drug-free) was largely his doing – he ensured that we all had the the college education he wasn’t able to afford. And there he was, cheering for us the whole way.
There is so much left to say, but I will leave it here for now.
I feel deep gratitude for the many gifts my grandfather shared, and the memories…
We will leave a big piece of pecan pie out for you, Gramps.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.