Miles From Fenway

I Wish I Could Remember
June 27, 2006, 5:44 pm
Filed under: family

The wedding was only on Saturday and already I don’t remember the song that was playing. I wish I did, and I know years from now I am really going to regret not paying attention to that tiny detail. But as my grandfather and I danced at my cousin’s wedding, it seemed too trivial to pay attention to.

It’s not often you realize that you’re going to remember a moment for the rest of your life while you’re living that moment, but this was definitely one of them. Standing on the dance floor, my head on my Papa’s shoulder, surrounded by my family, a gorgeous tent, sparkling lights, and more flowers than I had ever seen, I knew, then and there, that I was living something that was going to be a memory.

It was a short dance. He had to get back to my grandmother who is now confined to either a walker or her motorized scooter at all times. As we danced he told me how proud he was of me, of all of the grandkids. He told me that all he ever wanted was for our happiness. He talked about how much he loved me, and how much we all meant to him and my grandmother.

And I’m always going to remember how solid he felt. How solid he’s always felt. Papa’s not a small guy, and he’s got the kind of embrace that just dwarfs you. The kind you know could protect you from anything. And I’ll remember the tears that ran down my cheeks for no apparent reason after the dance was finished.

I was reminded of all of this today when I received news from my mom that my great uncle Arthur died this morning of a heart attack. No one was expecting it, yes, he was in his late 80s, and yes, he was clearly getting up there in age. But he still drove himself around. He was still so independent. It’s hit me hard. Arthur and I weren’t particularly close, I only saw him at holidays and family functions, but I’ll still miss him. And it serves as a reminder that my remaining three grandparents are getting older. And that scares the hell out of me.

I really wish I could remember what song was playing that night. Because eventually, those types of memories are all I’m going to have left of the four amazing people I am lucky enough to call my grandparents.


6 Comments so far
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Ok…so I’m officially crying. I feel that way a lot about my dad who is suffering from Alzheimers…little moments that I wish I could get back so that I could soak in every last detail because I know it was the last time he’d remember me….Oh god….thanks for sharing but ouch

Comment by Amy

I have to say that that was a beautiful post and I’m now thinking of my grandfather. As much as you can’t remember the song, you remember the moment. You can try to find out what that song was, but even if you can’t, you know exactly what you want to remember from that dance and it makes an amazing memory. And I’m so sorry about your great uncle.

Comment by Esther

Amy: Sorry sweetie, totally didn’t mean to make you cry. I completely know what you’re going through. One of my other great uncles was out at the wedding this weekend and he’s in the early stages of Alz. It was even sadder because he was a HUGE Notre Dame fan from the time he was a kid and he always dreamed of going out there. And finally, there he was, at his niece’s wedding, just yards away from the stadium, and he didn’t even know it. It’s devestating to watch someone go through.

Esther: Thank you. I know that that song doesn’t really matter, but I still really wish I knew what it was. Just so I could have heard it again and immediately thought of him, you know?

Comment by FINY

My grandmother (mom’s mom) had Alzheimer’s and died 4 years ago. I was young when she began getting into the late stages of it – by the time I was 12, she’d forgotten my name. It was horrible to watch her suffer like that – and even more horrible to see my mom dealing with it.

My Nana (the one I posted about late last year) died 2 1/2 years ago and was like a second mother to me. Some days, it seems like just yesterday that I got the horrible phone call telling me she was gone.

I never knew either of my grandfathers.

That dance sounds like a wonderful memory – hold it close. And spend as much time with your grandparents as you can. You’re a lucky lady.

I’m jealous.

Comment by Miss Browneyedgirlie

That’s a lovely post, Ms. Finy. At the end of the day it’s people that count. The time we invested in them. The laughs we shared. The griefs we saw each other through.

Blessings on you and your grandpa


Comment by Anonymous

Finy, its time like this wthat we jus tneed to embrace everyhting in life and not worry about the details. Death is an awful thinbg but in death it can help you learn to embrace life and take more time with those people you love the most. Just being yourself brings joy to others and that is your gift to your family and friends.

Comment by Ari

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