I paint my life with broad strokes of leisure and rare strokes of pain. Twice this year I have lost family, hopefully the last for a while. I have been fortunate, I think, in having relatively long-lived and healthy relatives. Before this year, the last loss was my grandfather Al, unrepentant alcoholic and master of profanity, years ago. I have to go back 13 years to Amber for prior death, and to my childhood for all others. Six deaths in over 41 years isn’t so bad, is it?
I said goodbye to my grandfather on Saturday, my last view of him a handful of ashes riding on the wind. Whatever he may have been to others, he was a wonderful grandfather to me, and I always felt loved. If there were faults in the relationship, I would place them fully with me, falling short as a grandchild as I built my own life and family.
It was my grandfather who taught me the peacefulness of cross-country skiing (although constantly stopping to look for birds did not fit in my teenage schemes), who took me for hikes on the mesa, and got me banned from the Getty. I hope I can be as good a grandparent to any future grandchildren of my own when the time comes as he was a grandfather to me. I may be a bit quieter at the Getty, however.