Monday, July 09, 2007

Letters from home

As most of you have probably deduced, my grandfather died last week. It's been kind of crazy and stressful around here, but we're getting through it. And my Nana is remarkable.

On Tuesday afternoon, my mother called me and told me that it was imminent. So I quickly made a reservation to fly down, and got in Wednesday, late morning, and rode with my sister to the hospice, where the family sat with him all day, and then most of the next day, too.

He died early Thursday evening.

We had the funeral yesterday, and have been sitting shiva since then. (No Jewish burials on Saturday.) My uncle, two of my cousins, and my brother all spoke at the service. I couldn't do it -- I probably wouldn't have been able to get through an entire sentence without crying -- I would have looked over at my mom or my Nana and completely lost it. (My sister says that she wouldn't have been able to get out an entire word.) But the boys were strong, and spoke through their tears, sharing some wonderful funny family stories, and letting everyone know exactly how fantastic my grandfather was. There wasn't a dry eye in the house when they were finished.

If I had been able to speak, though, I think I would have told everyone about the letters.

My grandfather wrote to me approximately once a month while I was away at school. Usually the letters were about a page long, back and front, and were his way of letting me know that everything was okay at home. He would tell me the news, always in a completely humorous way, and he would always sign them "Everybody here sends their love, especially Nana and Pop." They always made my day, and I still have most of them. Along with a letter that my dad wrote me when I was twelve, they are one of my most prized possessions, and are probably the one thing I'd try to save in a fire.



When everyone comes in the house to sit with us, my Nana tells them how lucky she is -- and Pop was -- to have all of us -- specifically, my mom, my aunt, my uncle, and the six grandchildren. But I keep telling her that it's not her who is lucky.



11 comments:

Miss Scarlet said...

Aw, that is so sweet he wrote you weekly. I love that! I'm sorry for your loss.

CBK said...

My deepest sympathies, too. My grandfather died last year, and as sad as it was, we were able to celebrate the great man he was and the amazing life he led.

Justin S. said...

My thoughts are with you and your family.

e.b. said...

that is incredibly sweet and touching and you are extremely lucky to have had that.
best regards to you and your family.

mad said...

My condolences, Dara.

My grandfather wrote me once while I was overseas. In his broken English. I still have that letter.

Evil Spock said...

I'm terrible in these sort of situations, but I'm really sorry. I hope you feel better soon.

violindan said...

Thank you for writing so beautifully about your grandfather. Thinking of you and your family.

DSL said...

I'm glad everyone was able to be there at the end. And thank you for sharing this with us. We're all thinking of you, of course.

dara said...

Everyone: Thanks for the kind, supportive words. I'm muddling through, but it's getting better -- especially since I have 31 years of good memories of my grandfather to look back on.

honeykbee said...

Sounds like a wonderfully thoughtful man. May your beautiful memories live on forever and my condolences on your loss.

Steve said...

Just wanted to let you know that I was thinking about you.