Tag Archive | love

The Sad Goodbye Edition

I love this picture. I took this picture of my grandfather exactly 9 years ago on 28 December 2012. As what became a ritual, I would visit my grandfather on quiet mornings during the holidays. We would sit, watch game shows and drink coffee. For some reason that week home for the holidays, we kept missing each other. It was crazy. He never was one for sitting still until age and health issues finally caught up to him. My visits to home were filled with running to and fro trying to see this person and that. I was always overwhelmed and unsuccessful. However, since I drove I decided to stop by on my way out of town since I knew I could catch him before his day truly began. I thought it would be a quick visit. It was not. We talked about everything. He told me about his grandfathers – who he did not particularly like – and a bunch of other stuff. He teased me about my phone because it was never far from my side. He asked what the big deal was. I told him people really like the access to everything and the ability to take pictures. People take a lot of pictures. Then I told him I would take his picture. He asked why and I joked that when someone asked me about my amazing grandfather, I could show them what he looked like. Always loving attention, he obliged. So folks, here is my grandfather.

He got to live 91 years, which considering how many contemporaries I have watched pass away in the last few years is tremendous. When people write about the loss of a loved one it seems to be remembrances of their interactions with the person and not a true accounting of the person. I see how that happens now. Goodness, do I have such fun stories of being with my grandfather. We lived on the same street for most of my childhood, so I saw him everyday. And no lie: he was my biggest champion. This is not something I take lightly. I kind of sort of did not fit in many spaces. I had iffy parents. I watched PBS for fun. I looked nerdy with ugly cheap glasses and hair that never really permed well. But he thought I was wonderful. You don’t realize how much you need that in the world. Every conversation he dropped a little gem about how glad he was to have me. Me! Too smart, too weird me.

We could be so different. He was an extreme extrovert who never met a person he couldn’t regale with a story. I am an introvert who finds people scary. He was a hustling entrepreneur. There’s nothing I love more than doing my 40 hours and sitting my tail down somewhere (preferably a pretty bar or concert hall). I love me a shortcut or a scheme and he could be so by the book. He ratted me out to the airlines for sneaking on bags (pre-9/11)! He liked gambling a bit too much. Now I will keep every dime in my pocket and some of yours in there too.

However, I inherited his love of music. It plays all day around me just like it did for him. I love an activity. Hey…he is where I got the title streetrunner. And he was so consistent. I can be too. Yet, he always showed the hell up. Even when you thought you did not want him there. I was so frightened to admit how much I needed him at my wedding. But my husband had a man-to-man chat with him (he loved him some hubby) and convinced him to fly even though he hated it and hadn’t done it in decades. So he showed up. Walked me down the aisle. Hugged me on his way back home to tell how wonderful the entire weekend was. It was. I got to be with my guy.

Losing him is something I anticipated but could not imagine and I live in my imagination. Amazingly we got closer in the distance than we did down the street. Though he often teased that he saw homes perfect for me when I choose to move back to Michigan. I once spent the entire weekend just with him & my granny. Hilariously it was the weekend they captured bin Ladin. (This is a great story I need more space to tell.) I hated that his hearing started to fail and we could no longer successfully chat on the phone. I learned so much about him in the last ten years. Not just what he did for me, which was a lot, but how he thought, felt and what worried him. This man served as my chauffeur, receptionist (those terrible no phone days), my advocate, my cheerleader, my contract negotiator, my shady partner at gatherings, my rock. My consistent force who made me realize someone woke up every day caring about me. Yep. Somehow this remembrance turned into a discussion of who he was to me. I know that is not who he was fully but I fell into an easy trap. I don’t know how to describe how great he without first telling you how much he stood up for me. So when I tell you how amazing my grandfather was know I was smart enough to get this picture.

The Wedding Edition

So, last weekend was not conducive to writing a wonderful post. However, I did spend the third weekend in PimlicoApril celebrating the occasional fabulousness of Living Social. I spend that Saturday at one of my new favorite events, Decanter at Pimlico Race Track in Baltimore. Decanter allows participants to taste local Maryland wines while watching the ponies. Last year, it was cold, rainy and empty. This year it was sunny, brisk and crowded. I do wish that they had better food options. You really needed more substantial eats to soak up all the wine. I found some wines that I just loved. This included a rather new winery, The Winery at Olney, a unique retailer that imports grapes and makes the wine onsite. The fruit wines were so delicious and I am not a fan of sweeter wines, but I was happy. I also purchased a bottle from Detour Winery and wrote down a lot of wines that I will be taking to my local spirits store for when I finally run out.

I also went to the Broccoli City Festival, which I fear I was too old for. How do I know? Well, Phil Ade has about a dozen rappers on stage with him and I thought: “Who are all these people? Why are they on stage? Will all of them be rapping? When will this end?” Yes, so I stole a picture from the twitter feed to illustrate why there shouldn’t ever be that many MC’s on stage. Look, I appreciate that Wu Tang Clan has (had) 10 members, but really only four of them rapped with any regularity. Black Alley did appear, but I was ready to go and we did.

I spent the last weekend in April at the latest edition of Liner Notes. See my first post. It was as fun as always. And then I went to a wedding! I haven’t been to a wedding in about seven years. It’s not that I haven’t known anyone who has gotten married, it’s just that they either had a destination wedding or headed to the Justice of the Peace.

Here’s a truth about me. I am a bit of a humbug about weddings. I blame my first adult weddings. I always weddingwanted to go to a wedding because they look so glorious on television. I couldn’t really remember the weddings from my childhood, even the one where I was a flower girl. Though, I acknowledge that I was probably an awesome flower girl. I finally got my opportunity in college. My first adult wedding was okay. Okay, it was long. There were poetry readings, ballerinas, a choir, a soloist, someone read a psalm. It was a lot. Then we headed to the reception, which was ho hum. This is when I discovered that receptions are pretty mundane. It is hard to describe what I don’t like about them. They are like proms, but not. The food is okay. There are a lot of activities that need to happen: toasts, dances, bouquet throwing, cake cutting. The music is iffy. I have been to two weddings in my life with great DJ’s. That is not a lot.

My next wedding scarred me for life. Terrible is not the word. I was told by someone that it wasn’t a terrible wedding as it was just a terrible day. Fine, I will allow that. Most people I discover judge bad receptions by the food selections and the availability of an open bar. I’ve only been to two open bar receptions. One I was in the wedding party and the other I had a long drive, so I probably had a glass of wine at each. The terrible wedding started late because someone lost the wedding license. Very late. Not Colored People’s Time late, but is this going to happen late? This also taught me to drive everywhere. In fact, my date taught me to drive myself everywhere, because she suffers from the “I don’t know how to make a graceful exit” disease. The lateness of the wedding led to a late reception. I was ready to go, but alas I did not drive. So the caterers left. Straight up departed. They did not feel like waiting any longer. Unfortunately, when the caterer departed they forgot to leave utensils to which to serve and eat the food. So the delicious food sat there, while the guests stared longingly at it. Some in the family was forced to head to the store to find utensils but it was a holiday and everything was closed. So we sat for an hour. Then there was a medical emergency, then people started slipping out and finally the bridal party looked around and there were about 20 people there and the activities hadn’t even started. Sadly, I was part of the 20. Boy, did I want to go home. Boy could I not, because well…things fell further apart.

So in hindsight, I attended a terrible wedding that I was stuck at for hours and was forced to console the bride in the end (see above). I served as a bridesmaid in a wedding, where I didn’t eat, at all because of an oversight by the waitstaff. In fact the entire bridal party wasn’t served and a couple of us went to I believe Applebee’s afterward. I went to a perfectly boring wedding reception where no secular music could be played. A wedding that was shuttered by Hurricane Isabel. The wedding turned out beautifully–getting married by candlelight–and the reception had to be at the in-laws.

So, on my way to the wedding last weekend, I started to panic. What if I was some kind of bad wedding juju? Then I remember when I was cleaning my second bedroom, I found a wedding favor for my friends’ wedding and realized that they would be married for 10 years in 2013. That was a great reception, but I did miss the wedding because I got locked out of my apartment. Uh oh. Hey, the weddings I attended are batting about .500, which is the national standard anyway. It cannot be me! I swear.

At the wedding last weekend, I remembered the beauty of weddings: the joy of seeing the bride for the first time in her gown and the happiness of seeing the bride and groom recite their vows and place the rings. It was all too much. It was glorious.

To quote American Beauty:  Sometimes there’s so much beauty in the world, I feel like I can’t take it, and my heart is just going to cave in.