Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Moment of Memories

Today I finally feel ready to write about the past few weeks. It will take a few posts to totally catch up, but this is a start. My taste for tea is coming back, slowly but surely, so this morning I got adventurous and broke out my gift from Teas Etc. and brewed some Citrus Sorbet Oolong.  Today is supposed to be in the 90's, so comething citrus-y seemed appropriate.

A nice yellow-amber liquid with the lightest floral perfume that I now associate with oolongs. And, of course, the first sip... More robust than I expected, but smooth with just a hint of citrus and cream. Any more of the citrus or creaminess would have been too much, so the balance was lovely. I'm grateful to be able to drink this today. And I can't help but thank my Grandpa.

You see, while I was away in New York to attend my dear friend's wedding, I received The Phone Call from my Dad. I knew it was coming, but it certainly doesn't mean you're really ready to receive it. My Grandpa Don had passed away.

After the call, I sat in my hotel room and just thought. Out of habit, more than expecting to be able to enjoy it, I brewed a cup of tea that the hotel room provided. English Breakfast from Bigelow. To my great surprise and delight, it actually tasted GOOD! (Not that I expected a Bigelow tea to taste bad. You must understand that ALL tea has tasted terrible to me for the first 4 months of this pregnancy!!!)

In fact, my morning sickness was suddenly more manageable. I had, in the previous day or so, been able to actually think of foods that might actually taste good and stay down.  I decided it was my Grandpa's blessing to me on his way Home.

My Grandpa was one of those men who could do anything. As I learned from my Dad, Grandpa had been a soda jerk, a salesman, a police detective, a pilot, a workshop foreman, just to name a few. He had a gift of craftsmanship, having built a canoe, campers, a house in the mountains, and crafted many designs out of cast iron. He was a quiet man, but he had Presence. My older brother reminded us of how, when we were very little, Grandpa had seemed so big and scary, and how this big, brawny man's man would always lie down in the middle of the carpet of whoever's home we were in and lay perfectly still until we children would get brave enough to slowly creep over to him, and maybe even climb on him. This was his way to make us feel safe and let us approach him on our terms.

His care for his grandchildren was equally clear in my teen years. One year in particular, I went with my Dad to his annual hunting camp. Grandpa went for a few days as well in his well-appointed and comfortable RV (the facilities, of which, he made available to me - thank heavens for running water!) He had agreed to take me home at the end of the weekend so I could get back to school. Knowing he wasn't much for conversation, I admit I was dreading that 5 hour drive home. Alone. With Grandpa. I envisioned miles and miles of silence, with not even radio music to fill the void. It was looking grim. And then, somehow, conversation began. He started telling me about when he was a little boy, born in L.A. What it was like there, how they would drive the freeways and see nothing but citrus groves for miles and miles. He talked about moving to rural Idaho and the different businesses his parents tried - a chicken farm was not so successful, a motel a little more so. He talked about meeting and dating my Grandma, stories I wish I could remember with any clarity at all! I think I was so stunned by the volume of words that were issuing forth from his mouth, my mind couldn't retain much else.  I heard him speak more in that 5 hour stretch than in my whole lifetime put together.  It was heavenly.

I'm so happy he got to meet Edie and be a little part of her life. I am sad he won't meet the newest addition. But I'm so grateful for the gift of love he poured continuously on our entire family throughout our lives and for his final blessing to me.