Wednesday, February 22, 2012

32 Years Ago...

A beautiful moment, all by itself. It was a great Olympic Games and an incredible season of hockey (especially if you lived in hockey country!). A miracle of a team. The memory of that final game, all these years later, still gives me chills.

But I cherish that final game even more since it ended up being one of the last really wonderful days I spent at my grandparents' house while they were both hale and hearty. Three months later, my grandmother suddenly dropped dead while out mowing her lawn. And less than a year after that, my grandfather succumbed to what I think was, more than anything else, a broken heart.

Both of them were beautiful people and might well have served as molds for the classic, indulgent, loving, yet gently steering grandparents. They spoiled their grandkids (Grandpa was always ready for a game of cribbage, Grannie for a game of scrabble, and there was, without fail, cocoa and buttered toast for breakfast). They bickered with each other (with great affection), and hosted epic family Sunday dinners. Getting to go to their house for weekend sleepovers was always an opportunity to be snatched up without hesitation. And being there to celebrate the American hockey team's victory was exhilarating.

That hockey game was a truly beautiful moment in time.


Keera Ann Fox said...

I'll bet there was quite the celebration at your grandparents when the US won!

…Is it totally wrong of me to like how your Grannie died? I've always thought that's the best kind of death: Up and about, still your own person, taking care of business as usual - and then you stop. No fuss, no fight, nothing. You just stop.

The only downside to that is not being able to warn loved ones and say goodbye. Which makes me agree with "cause of death" for Grandpa.

Great grandparents. Every kid should have them. I'm glad you did.

alice said...

Not at all wrong. It was horribly shocking for us, but wonderful that she suffered not at all. The doctors said it was such a massive heart attack that she was dead even before she hit the ground. And the fact that she was mowing the lawn (with a rotary mower, no less) testifies to her good health up until that moment. A beautiful way to go.

Another awesome exit was had by my father's law partner, who was in his late 80s when he died. He was slowing down just a little, but still stayed active in the practice and was at the office at least several times a week. He had been an orphan, raised by nuns, and attended Notre Dame. To say he was an avid fan of the Fighting Irish is quite the understatement. Well, he died on a Saturday. That morning, he went to the office and got some work done and then returned home for lunch and an afternoon of Notre Dame football. He laid down to rest at half time, fell asleep, and then just never woke up. Quiet, peaceful... perfect.

If only we could choose.