There are no pictures to portray the feelings floating around my allergy-stuffed head. Well, maybe there are, but I’m not going to take the time to search Google for an image today. My fingers are semi-sore from various projects I’ve worked on lately and I decided to cook one night and needed to use knives…
The point is this: I have missed writing “live” posts. Posts about real things. Sure, every Wednesday War and French Fry Friday is real. It’s there for you to read. But sometimes I scratch the surface and don’t actually talk about meaninful things. And there’s been a boat load of meaningful things going on in the world. None of which you will find to be breaking news in this post. But topics worthy of a nod. Worthy of a look. Worthy of words.
The day the Russian plane carrying the entire Locomotiv Yaroslavl hockey team of the KHL crashed, I was busy at work. I caught a glimpse of a news feed on my Google homepage. My first thought was that this has been the worst off-season. Tragedies keep shaking the hockey world – right down to its core. And it’s a small world, so it doesn’t take much to shake it. Players, coaches, trainers, GMs, and fans around the world are affected everytime our televisions and internet newsfeeds light up with heartbreaking news. Everytime a hockey player is lost, the world shrinks.
Everytime a hockey player’s life is lost, we stop to remember them. Not their slap shot or work along the boards or their role as the enforcer. We remember them as a person. As a human being.
And that’s the way it should be.
And that’s why it’s so important that they live out lives on and off the ice that are honoring and full of integrity and purpose.
Another meaningful topic I failed to cover earlier is the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. When I realized it had been ten years, I shook my head in disbelief. I remembered the exact moment, the exact feeling of that day. And this past September 11, just five days ago, it was perfect outside. Blue skies, sunshine, a wonderful fall day. And I couldn’t help but compare the two days – ten years apart. Because it didn’t feel like ten years had passed. The moment I crossed an overpass with bikers and flags, firetrucks, and families, I lost it. And it felt like I was back in 10th grade wearing my white GAP sweater and baby blue American Eagle pants. But I wasn’t. Because so much has happened in those ten years. And yet, we still remembered 9/11. The lives lost.
The people who died that day were not just victims of 9/11 – they were mothers, fathers, grandfathers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers, former camp counselors and lifeguards, marathon runners, neighbors, book-club members – they were people. People we can’t ever forget. No matter how many years separate us from that day.
The last part of this post is a lot more personal. For Labor Day, I traveled to my parent’s hometown with my dad. I don’t remember the last time my dad and I went to visit the town where he was born and raised – just the two of us. So, I tucked this trip into the nooks and crannies of my memory so that I can look back someday and remember it. Because you never know if you’ll get another opportunity like that.
Our time spent way up north, the true “Up North” of Minnesota was packed with family. And it reminded me of when I was a kid. Minus the fact that we didn’t stay at either of my grandparents’ homes. Due to the fact that they are no longer in those homes. Instead, we sat with my grandma at the care center (sounds much better than nursing home). We helped her eat her meals, talked with her, and clung to those lucid moments when she smiled or seemed to recognize us. She’s the last grandparent in my life. The last one I have to love and hug. I didn’t cry when I saw her this time. Instead, I just enjoyed it. I talked with some of the other residents and cheered my grandma on everytime she took a bite of her eggs and toast. It was kind of odd to cheer on a woman in her mid nineties as she ate a simple breakfast, but I hoped that with every cheer and every bite, she knew that she was loved.
And I know that I may not get another chance to watch her eat breakfast or smile from her wheelchair. Even if it is at a care center and not her home. A home in which my dad and I passed on our way to the cemetery. A home in which I have all my childhood Christmas memories.
We went to the cemetery just to see it. Nothing has changed since the days we buried my three grandparents. Besides the fact that more of their friends and neighbors have been buried just a few plots over. Standing in front of headstones and walking from plot to plot, I realized that I’m getting older. A duh moment you may think, but one that hits hard when you stand in front of headstones and see your grandparent’s names etched on them. Or when your visits to grandma’s house are at a care center with hundreds of other grandma’s and grandpa’s. Or when you realize that your pregnant cousin’s kids are never going to meet their great grandparents. Or when you remember that you really want to tell your grandparents something.
Maybe that’s why I subconsciously didn’t post this week’s typical Wednesday Wars and French Fry Friday. Because as fun as they can be (in my humble opinion), I had other thoughts that wouldn’t leave me. Other thoughts that mean more to me than Online vs Store (shopping) or Backpacks! The two posts I had written in my planner but never wrote on here.
Sometimes you just have to stop and remember. Sometimes you just have to write so that you remember.