Thursday, December 18, 2014

Grandpa's Lesson

Hey rockers,

  Today is a bit of a sad day over here.  It's the 8th anniversary of my Grandfather's passing.  I was barely 21 when he died, and I wish I got a chance to know him better as an adult.  His death came rather unexpectedly, adhering to his humorous maxim of people never die on schedule.  Unlike the movies, it feels to me that there wasn't a tidy conclusion to his life, no completed arc.  There was much business left unfinished, and in a strange way, the most important thing he ever taught me was this:

  Things don't always work themselves out.  

  Needless to say, this still rattles my cage.  We don't figure it out just because we're adults.  I thought that, as a younger man, that with age comes wisdom.  It can, but the choice of how to apply that wisdom is up to us.  What will we do with it? We're at the controls of a mighty engine, and it will obey our commands.  How shall we steer?

  So, as I lean back in my chair, a few streaks of gray appearing among the neon red/pink hair, and the clouds drift high in the sky, I miss him.  I think of the man who placed such value on logic, precision, and rational thinking, and although I'm so very sad that he left before things got tied up, I like to think that it's a fitting last lesson he gave. I can almost picture him, in his scratchy flannel shirt and his black loafer slippers.  He would shuffle across the reasonably-priced carpet, over to his bookshelf, peering through his glasses, selecting some dry tome to read a lesson from to a rather teasingly unwilling audience in me.  "Oh man..." I'd grumble playfully...His finger would scan the pages, and he'd say "ah yes, here it is.  The probability of situations and challenges resolving themselves with little or no input from the engineer is statistically improbable."

I reply..."So, in other words, get it together, right?"


And then he'd laugh that lovable, hissing laugh that I used to imitate as a little boy.

Thanks, Grandpa.

- Josh