Friday, December 30, 2011


The holiday season is overlaid with special memories for my family. My mother's birthday was Christmas Day. Grandpa's birthday was December 30: today is the day he would have been celebrating his 101st. Both of them left this earth last year: 2010. So the season is filled with sweet memories of these two beloved ones.

The boys and I - with their girlfriends this year - baked my mother's butter cookies earlier in the month. On Christmas Day I served her yeast cinnamon rolls, made from her recipe. I even said to Gregory what she always said: "See, no raisins!" She altered the recipe years ago because Gregory dislikes raisins. So I pointed out to him their continuing absence, in a voice that wobbled a bit with remembered love.

Every year for the past many years we had a wonderful birthday party for Grandpa at his favorite restaurant, Dino's on Colfax in Lakewood. So today four women who loved Grandpa, and who through him came to love each other, are gathering there to have lunch and share stories, as well as updates on our current lives. It used to be that Grandpa was "news central" for all of us: he would tell me about Bonnie's stay at the Trappist monastery, about Billie's knitting class, about Kay's fishing expedition. Now we have to tell each other directly. And so that's what we'll do at 11:30 today, with hearts full of memories of this inimitable man who took such a vivid interest in all of us up until the last days of his long long life.

It is definitely the season for remembering.

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