Monday, April 6, 2015
Farewell Grandpa Wright
By the time I went to college it was natural to spend holidays and long weekends with them, especially since my school was only 20mins away. I didn't have a car but grandpa would come and pick me up. He'd use he ham radio to call grandma on the way home and we'd stop for a few groceries and head back to set me up in the 'blue room'. Sometimes I'd cook for them my moms favorite Chinese dishes and some of their kids would join us. Then in the evenings we'd go to the study and watch some British comedy show or listen to some music with grandpa. I loved the quiet of their home and spend much of my time reading. It was grandma who first recommended Pride and Prejudice to me at the age of 13. I would read it every summer along with The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George speare.
Grandpa had an amazing garden, a small piece of Eden. It was only on the trip at his funeral that I learned from his daughter tut grandpa didn't initially like gardening, it was a frugal means of providing for his family. He never stopped though and often sent me home with a huge basket full of tomatoes, zucchini, corn and berries from which he feed me and all my roommates thus saving us from the constant diet of hamburger helper or Mac and cheese! It was also a place of peace, I would often go down to the swing and watch the sunset while the scent of roses filled the air.
October of 2011, we were in time for hazelnuts and peaches from Grandpa's tree. Their house sat up on a huge hill with a beautiful view.
Grandma passed away eight years ago and I had a chance to see her just a few months before. I was pregnant with Isaac at the time and Kent and I were out there for a residency interview. By this time Alzheimer's had taken most of grandmas memories but not her spunk or caring nature. I was tired and took a nap on the bed next to grandma. When I woke she was laying next to me, intently looking at me. "Young lady, do you have a young man to tak care of you and that baby? Is he a good boy? Does he treat you right?"
"Yes Grandma, his name is Kent and you will see him soon". Patting my hand gently she replied, "he better be!" And her anxiety for me finally let up when he arrived and she vetted him.
In the years since her passing I've taken the time to call Grandpa once and a while. He missed Grandma terribly and as I did so I got to know him so much better. He taught me about marriage and love. One example was a story that Grandma used always tell of the time that she bought a table for a sewing machine that also could store it within. From what I understood the cost of the two altogether was more than what she was supposed to spend so she simply place the sewing machine inside the table. When it arrived she had grandpa carry it into the home. Grandpa remarked that the table seemed awfully heavy, grandma would say, "Fred you're just getting old and weak!" Years later after grandma passed away I ask grandpa about this incident. He told me he always knew there was something in that desk, but he didn't want to take the fun away from grandma and that there were some things not worth fighting over. I learned an important lesson from him. I would have been irritated to hear her tell that story to us over and over as if she had pull the wool over his eyes but he loved her enough to let her be right so that they could be happy.
Grandpa's kids and front shot of his home
The funeral was a reunion of sorts for me. It was fun to see faces I missed and hear of all the changes life has brought us. 'Cousin' Lisa and Jenny. We were so young I spent some time at both their homes on some of the first sleepovers I ever had. Lisa's family lived farther away so visits were not so frequent. I remember eating a gingerbread house at Jenny's as well as both of us with our younger brothers, James and Stephen which we were second mothers over.
Selfies with some of my aunts and a picture of Ann Marini, Orion and his wife Sarah.
Grandpa had a proper military send off. There is always something so hauntingly beautiful about Taps being played, such a simple melody that evokes so much.