the month of remembrance
I suppose it would be wise to inform those who may not know that my grandparents brought me up as their son.
The month of August, particularly the end of it, will always be one of remembrance for my family.
August 20th, 1936
My grandparents are married in Nashua, New Hampshire.
August 21st, 1913
My grandfather is born.
August 22nd, 2004
I propose to Sandra.
August 24th, 1977
My grandparents and I say our last farewells to most of our friends as we make final preparations to emigrate from the Bay Area of California all the way to Ireland.
August 26th, 2006
On the happiest day of my life, Sandra and I are married in front of friends and most of my family.
August 27th, 2004
My grandfather passes away peacefully in his sleep at the age of 91.
August 28th, 2002
My grandmother writes the above note and leaves it by her bedside. Please note the impeccable penmanship for (at the time) a 93-year old lady.
August 29th, 1992
I married my first wife.
August 30th, 2006
That same first wife, the only other person* I had in Ireland to be a contact person for my grandmother’s nursing home, has the unenviable task of calling me while on my honeymoon in New York to tell me she had deteriorated much over the previous 24 hours, and that we should change our flights if I wanted to be with her at the end.
August 31st, 2006
My grandmother passed away quiety and painlessly at the grand age of 97. We successfully changed our flights, but touched down 45 minutes before she was gone, so we did not quite make it to her bedside. At the very least, she was not unattended.
The funeral was yesterday. As much as my grandparents both loved me and were proud to carry out the challenge of bringing me up, because of the generation gap, it could be said that they never properly understood me, and of course vice versa. For me, the silver lining of recent events is that I know now they both understand me perfectly, and will watch over me and my family for the rest of our own days on this earth.
May they both rest in peace.
* = I must note that Sandra’s immediate family would have been more than willing to be available for my grandmother, but we felt it best to ask MyX because hers was a face that would be recognized more readily, plus she is mother to her two great-grandchildren.