Tuesday, November 09, 2004

In Memoriam

GSeven, Raven, Brownie, & Bob

I have hardly any memories of my paternal grandfather. He passed away when I was about four and a half years old. All I know about him comes from some photographs and the tales my family told. But I know he loved me.

My Grandmother Brownie has lived in Rochester as long as I can remember. I remember visiting her and her dog, "Mister." I've always been a cat-person, but Mister was a cool dog. Whenever I visited we would spend time outdoors, fishing in the pond, and taking Mister for walks. Grandma Brownie & I also played a lot of cards. She taught me how to play some pretty darn good solitaire games too. I still remember the first time that Bob came to Breezy Point with us for Christmas. I don't know how much I understood then what Bob meant to Brownie, but I hope he felt welcome.

I can sort of picture their wedding. I remember that I had a suit coat that now only reminds me of Miami Vice. I guess what I remember most is that it was a good day.

Brownie & Bob made Arizona their home in the winter. I remember the Christmas we decided to go down to Arizona. That was wild. T-Shirts in December. We went skiing that year at Snowbowl in Flagstaff. I loved it. One mountain with snow on it in the state so they build a ski resort. Classic.

We stayed in Sedona. Brownie & Bob and the rest of us went hiking and rock climbing. That was a great experience as well. The air seemed ultra-clear somehow.

A few weeks ago Bob had a stroke.

Things had kind of been up and down for the past couple of weeks. It seemed like he was recovering.

Robert J. Oesterlin passed away this past Saturday. I didn't know him all that well. Time was often too short. The distance was often too great. I know that he liked to fly his remote controlled model planes. I know he enjoyed fishing. I know he almost always had a smile to greet you.

I spoke with Brownie on the phone Sunday evening. She seemed to be in fairly good spirits. She said it wasn't bad as long as she was busy. It seemed to me that she completely accepted what had happened. She didn't like it, but she knew this was how it had to be. She was determined to keep greeting each new day. She said she just didn't like being alone.

I think I realized for the first time where my determination must come from.

I told her I would do whatever I could for her. It's the kind of thing that I guess everyone says, but I can't express to you how much I meant it. I couldn't stop thinking about how sometimes no matter how much effort we put forth, some things can't be fixed. Some sorrow can never be soothed. She told me to make sure that Amanda knew I loved her, "Cherish every moment." After we said our goodbyes, I hung up the phone and cried.

I don't pretend to know exactly what Bob meant to Brownie or what Brownie meant to Bob. I can't imagine what this is like for her, to lose her husband for the second time.

But I know that he was loved.

And every once in a while, I guess that's enough.

-GSeven | Permalink | Comments (4) | Filed Under: La Vie

GSeven, I'm sorry to hear about you and your grandmother's loss.

Both of my grandfathers have passed away. It has always amazed me how my grandmothers have coped. I think grandmothers are stronger than they let on.

Posted by: NQTYD at November 9, 2004 05:42 PM

Oh, very sorry to hear it, GSeven. Your grandmother does indeed sound like a remarkably strong woman. And surely it must help her immeasurably to know that she has the love and support of her family.

Posted by: no name slob at November 11, 2004 12:46 PM

So sorry for your loss... sounds like you have some wonderful insight from the situation though. Hard to make sure everyone you care about knows every day how much you care... all we can do it try to let them know best we can. Take care, and cherish all the memories you have and make sure to make new ones to cherish later.

Posted by: tallen at November 11, 2004 04:58 PM

Thank you all for your support. The memorial service was yesterday and my Father & I were able to attend. My Grandmother apparently had no idea we would be there, and it was obvious that she was grateful we were there.

Dad is visiting her again today, and hopefully I'll be able to see her again sometime soon.

Posted by: GSeven at November 12, 2004 04:46 PM
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