It’s been a busy couple of weeks here at Chateau Weaver! Actually…it was busy away from Chateau Weaver. I made a pilgrimage to my hometown over the end of July, beginning of August. It was a busy, hectic, somewhat conflicted visit. I got to enjoy time with my mom, my sister and her family and other relatives.
I also bid farewell to my grandfather.
Since returning I’ve been feeling quiet. Not so much of mind and heart but externally. Losing someone reminds you that you need to cherish those still here. My grandpa was 85. Later today I’ll call my gramma and see how she’s doing. They were married for 64 years and I can’t imagine what his absence feels like to her.
She used to tell me on occasion was about their courtship. Grampa wasn’t a big talker, but they exchanged letters. In fact, he asked her to marry him in a letter. Some day, when the loss isn’t so fresh I need to ask her to tell me that story again and write it down.
It was surreal to listen to my aunt and uncles talking about their childhood. My aunt’s eulogy revealed aspects of my grampa that I never knew. In my childhood he was the constant, quiet presence, always there with a grizzled cheek to kiss and in the kitchen with gramma working on jam, scalloped potatoes, or chicken for the church suppers. I didn’t know the man who was danced the jitterbug and sang in musicals. I wish I did.
You’ll indulge my rambling, right?
It’s all got me thinking about the characters I write. They’re usually loners, solitary souls, and rarely do I have them involved with family. The ones that have “family” have the kind you make, friends and so forth. It reflects, somewhat, my own history with my family, and after this past trip I see a change due in both my characters’ developments and my own.
I’m close to my mom and aunts, but not to the extended family on that side. I chose to have as little to do with my father as possible, but miss the extended family that was the tapestry of my childhood. While amidst one of the gatherings that seemed to happen near nightly between grampa’s passing and his memorial my cousin and I got to talking. We commented how everyone has drifted, physically, up and down the eastern US. We also noted that it was time for the younger generation to take over and start getting people together.
I’m looking forward to that. And doing some reaching out myself. It’s important to know your roots, your history. And if you like those roots, nourish the friendships that can grow with those who share them.