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Family Portrait


           It's been a hot minute since I have spent any time tapping on the keyboard aimed at this method of communicating. I hope to do much better moving forward and would appreciate any comments or criticizations.

Family means everything to all of us, we cannot possibly fathom how parents hearts and souls are being ripped to shreds by the horribleness going on around the world. Words mean nothing but perhaps a little understanding in a world that seems not to care. I’m sending prayers for peace and healing and invite everyone to please join me.

It is a very special moment in a grandparent’s life when there is a gathering of grandchildren, especially so when the gathering is totally voluntary, spontaneous and non-holiday.

            I recently had occasion to thank The Big Guy for just such a gathering and to my joy it lasted the whole afternoon, and that they were all from different of my offspring made it all even more special. Following his grandfathers’ footsteps into the Army, Hayden was on his last days of leave before being deployed. Following his fathers and brother’s footsteps into the Navy Nicholas was on his first days of leave before being assigned to a ship. This Grammys heart ‘bout burst when the cousins took precious hours out of their days to take me to breakfast.

            A couple of hours occupying a booth that quickly filled with all kinds of military acronyms I totally did not understand passed so quickly I barely had time to tear up…but I managed. They bravely tried to explain but upon noticing my blank stare returned to the English language, not before dropping one more ‘Squid’ and ‘Dogface’.

            I had to question if The Big Guy was granting me one big day of family love before calling me home when a third grandson descended from yet another of my offspring called to say hello and jumped at the chance to pick up yet another grandson, meet at my new condo and spend time with cousins not seen in a long time. And “Oh yeah, you too Grammy”

            Watching R.J. who was just landing after giving up a job and relocating to help his mom post-surgery, Dominic, preparing to make a big life change to be closer to his son and the two military’s sitting almost knee to knee in my little living room swapping ‘remember when’ stories made this old Grammy button bursting proud. And as usual when the ‘remember when’ stories brought out the long-hidden secrets of how certain things really happened made this old Grammy have retroactive panic attacks. I do have to wonder how these four remained so innocent in all those misdeeds and all the cousins who were not here were totally responsible for everything?

            Sitting to the side to allow The Four unfettered interaction while watching my large supply of chocolate chip cookies and soda disappear almost as quickly as when their parents entrusted them to my care, I couldn’t help but see them as in days long past. Where did the time go? How did my little ruffians become such mature and successful men? Another tear appeared as I found myself wishing I could somehow magically shrink them in both years and size.

            The tear quickly disappeared when one cousin playfully punched another on the shoulder…another messed up another’s hair…another tried to pull a tee shirt over another’s head… Head locks and knee pokes ensued…

Slapping a spatula on the counter I threatened to call mothers if they didn’t stop fooling around – again as in days past. I also declared that since we had no idea when this gathering might ever happen again I would like pictures – again as in days past.

Ignoring moans and rolling eyeballs I told them I have always wanted a nice, sophisticated family portrait sans rabbit ears and fingers in ears that I could show off to the persons who do have said portraits done. I asked (ordered) them to please line up behind me in order of age. Snickering because they know I do not remember their birth order they quietly arranged their precious selves behind me, I assumed what I hoped was an Elizabethan pose and another loved one took several pictures.

I thought it a tad strange when they all had to leave quickly but reminded myself they are all full-grown men who had important stuff to do.

I guess the important stuff carried over to when I saw the pictures and tried to call to ‘THANK’ them.



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