— Bonnie George
Last night I was a bit melancholy as I pondered so many things
About today… yes, it is a special time of year…
With weather being pretty springtime perfect,
With the beginning of spring and the garden as lush as it could possibly be,
With blossoms and tiny leaves on treasured trees of apricots and plums,
With plants of yellow orchards, purple fuchsias, and other names I can’t think of…
There have not been any horrible happenings in our family
I’m happy about almost everything in my life—but what makes me melancholy
Is pondering—the product of pondering today—yes, today, March 21, 2013—
Which would have been my Dad’s 100th birthday.
It’s not that I thought he should have lived this long
Only one of his entire family has… but that he died when he was almost 61
And his grandchildren didn’t get a chance to really appreciate him—
They do hear us talk and laugh and now, of course, I write poems about him
But they miss out on face to face memories with him.
So, last night I wrote an email about this to my nephews (one of
Which was only a baby when Dad died) and my niece and my sons… all of
Who have children of their own… telling them that I’m so sorry
Their children didn’t have a chance to know him—and do hope
They all take good care of themselves so their grandchildren have more
Of a chance to appreciate them—face to face.
I was around twelve when my last grandparent died and can’t remember
A whole lot about any of them—I have to ask my sister questions…
Even about my Dad and Mom too!
I told them that it’s so refreshing to have real memories… that’s why
I’m writing my book of poetry… ! would have tons more if I kept journals
Like my niece Deb does and if they copy her, they’ll have treasured feelings
And memories to share with their grandchildren.
At my 50th high school graduation party in 2008, my friends were sharing and
Talking about all these things we did… and I was embarrassed to say
I didn’t remember all of them. That now when I hear someone tell me a story
I want to remember or it triggers something I do remember I jot down
A few words about it and keep them to remind me.
I told them that I wish I had started it when I was in my twenties!
I wish Dad and Mom had written things down too. I saved letters from Mom but
Dad didn’t write much of anything. I told them to take it from this septuagenarian—
Ask your Mom or your Auntie to see the letter that our Bubby Dinah wrote and
Cousin Bobby copied for us… it’s the only peek of a lifetime I have from that generation.
I told them that I’m sad to say my memory has never been good … or as bad as it is now—
That I would love to hear stories (long or just a line or two… or a poem!) from them about
Their families… and about my Dad and Mom and sister—just to read over and over, cuz
I can’t remember a whole lot… and that I love each and everyone of them… and that
I’m sorry kids aren’t learning cursive in school but I’m so happy that we have email,
Skype and other technology… and that I’m not melancholy any more.