Somehow, the memories I have of my grandfather right now are not my own.
He passed away September 19, the end of the summer, following my grandmother, who died at the beginning of the summer. The funeral was a few days later.
While my family spoke of their memories of him, I found that I only remembered those things because they said them. Oh! I thought when my dad read about Mighty Casey at the bat. I can hear him saying “No joy in Mudville” now.
I’d forgotten that! I pondered when my brother stood to say that Grandfather lost all hope for his team when they fell behind by a run in the fifth inning. “That’ll do it,” he’d say.
The torch run, of course! I thought, dismayed I’d forgotten, when my cousin stood to say how proud she was to witness Grandfather run with the Hoosier bicentennial torch in front of the high school in 2016. I was in New Zealand when that happened, and Mom sent me pictures.
I know from the funeral he was a photographer and he would show slide shows of his pictures and he loved Peanuts cartoons and he could recite the beginning of the Canterbury Tales in Middle English.
But as far as my own memories, they’re inaccessible. I have a sheet of paper titled “Grandfather” in my brain, and that’s all it says. With Grandmother, I could reminisce instantly. I knew exactly where I had saved the picture I wanted to use for my blog post about her. I don’t know where I have a good picture of Grandfather and me.
His obituary reflects an incredible life. Someday, my own memories will return, but for now, that beautiful piece from my family of writers helps me remember.