How tall was he?
Oh, Tige he was taller than your Mawmaw, and she would raise her hand far above her head. I think he was about my height as an adult, but when I was six or so it looked really tall.
Was he excited I was coming?
We were all excited you were coming, Tige.
Did he have a name for me?
I think he would have called you Tige like your Mawmaw.
I never thought he would have called me Tige. It didn’t seem to be the sort of name he would use, at least I didn’t think so when I looked at the pictures hanging on the wall in the room where I slept. He was like a reflection of this unknown part of myself staring at me as I fell asleep each night.
I don’t know what the name would have been exactly, but he seemed like a Grandpa who would have his own special name for me.
I woke up today at 5:50am without much fanfare — 2 minutes before the hot pink alarm clock started blaring. I have a knack for that. It’s still ridiculously hard for me to get out of bed at that hour and be somewhere by 6:30am, but I did it. I’m still exhausted, but I am showing up.
We started on our backs. My first thoughts hone in on the doctor’s appointment I have tomorrow morning. I’ll get some sort of update if this cycle is on schedule. Am I ok? Is The Girl Who Likes Chicken n’ Dumplings ok? The question swirl is in full force and as I attempt to push it away, more questions and worry swarm at me. I simply breathe.
Today I was stronger; I was jumping up and even jumped back. I had not had the energy to do that all week. I was finally hitting my stride. No more headache. Energy was flowing, even with only four hours of sleep. As I am flowing I start to think about pictures. I’ve been combing through pictures; my Mom is sending me pictures. Pictures are everywhere. Pictures of my Grandpa RW start to float through my mind. He’s been on my mind a lot more this week since my Mom sent me a picture of her when she was little with him. I see him in his work coveralls.
RW was the nicest man. He would always talk to me and make a joke about how the line could wait because he knew the owner.
Aunt Paula still tells me how my grandfather (RW) would behave when she would come get her car filled up at his gas station. She always says he was the nicest man; very friendly to everyone.
He worked 364 days a year. Every day except Christmas. I can’t even imagine such a life. Here I am doing yoga, juice cleansing and blogging my soul on the internet all the while trying to get pregnant with an egg donor. He would not even know what to make of his granddaughter. Sometimes I don’t know what to make of his granddaughter.
I try to explain it to him. Now I try to explain it to all of them, actually. My posse in heaven has grown larger over the past several years.
I’ve been talking to him since I was a little girl. At that time, he was the only person I knew who was in heaven, so he seemed like the next best thing to talking to God. I didn’t know what God looked like and I knew what he looked like. He was all over the room where I slept. Mawmaw had a way of freezing time on the walls at her house. It’s one of the reasons I always loved being there. Nothing ever really changed much. Everything was always familiar. It’s probably why I always felt like I was 9 when I was there, even when I was 19 or 29.
I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, I was always talking to people who weren’t there. I still talk to people who are not there. When I got married and started to overhear my husband talking out loud to no one sometimes it was actually a huge relief that I was not, in fact, crazy.
We’re doing a lot of forward bending and twisting. For the most part I am pushing deep contemplation away and trying to breathe through everything. But my mind does start to think about our child’s stories. I wonder about what questions they will run around asking about the pictures on our walls. Which ones will they be drawn to? What will have an impact? What will they ask over and over?
Did Butch go crazy in the war?
Oh, no, Butch was crazy before the war. ~ Great-Grandpa Wines
I still love for my Mom to tell this story about Grandpa Wines talking about Uncle Butch. I think it is so funny because I knew Butch, however, I called him Busch. When I was a kid I would go to Henrietta and he would take me out for lunch or ice cream. I literally could not understand a word he said, but we had the best time. He was crazy, but not in a creepy way. But rather in a — how does that fella tie his shoes? sort of way.
Don’t we all have those family legends? Those stories we keep telling over and over and over again. They are not that funny or even meaningful to anyone else, but they are a part of the family lore. Lore comes in all colors, of course. There is always good family lore and bad family lore. I like to remember the good family lore. The funny family lore. Those are the stories I want in our book.
Shavasana was on a bolster today with our knees on blocks. As I was lying there I felt myself let go. I could literally feel them all around me. All four of them. Grandpa RW. Mawmaw. Gran Gran. Memom. They were all right there. Smiling. I could feel the love. They’re ready for a great-grandbaby, too. At least I like to think so.
I surrendered to the mat and the moment.
Grandparents help us to really see our parents. We learn our parents stories thorough them. We learn to understand our parents through them, and ultimately, I think reflections of ourselves. I look at all four of them and I can find me, but it’s not just genetic, it’s not just physical — it’s so much deeper than that.
When I look at this picture of my Mom and her Daddy, I don’t see my Mom as just my Mom. I see her as a little girl with her Daddy. And I think how sad it must have been to lose him less than three short months before I came into the world. She was only 21. He was only 49. I put myself in the same shoes and I cry.
My Dad has a picture of himself as a baby with both of his parents on his Wells Fargo check card. I love this. It shows he remembers. He remembers every day.
These are our reflections. They live inside of us whether we hang them on the wall or hang them in our heart. They are always there.