I wrote this the other day about my last grandparent dying.
generational shift r.i.p.

I keep picturing a Tetris game, where you complete a row and it ker-thunks down and that row falls off into a digital void.


The loss of the last of my grandparents feels like that row ker-thunking away. There is no bringing it back, and the game keeps pushing on. If you stop, everything piles up into a chaotic, frantic mess. But the loss of that row is a little scary. It implies that the next row, my parents, are next. Then I’m up.

And the game pushes inexorably on.

Generational shift 06/20/2015 R.I.P.

I was talking with my mom this morning about how lucky I was to have had all of my grandparents not only alive and well up through my adult-hood, but to have been so close with them.

When my maternal grandmother died (age 96) in 2008, I remember my mom saying that the torch had been passed to the next generation. My grandfather had died in 2001 (age 92) so when grandma died, my mom and her brother, my uncle, became the heads of our small family.

My paternal grandfather died in 1998. He was the only one of the four to have had a difficult death. He had worked in (auto) garages his whole life, except for his military service. He had a difficult death caused by a lifetime of smoking. Emphysema is not one of the easier ways to go.

He had permanent grease under his fingernails, which as a child fascinated me. To me it meant that he was a hard worker and had something to show for it. I think I was fascinated by both grandfather’s hands – my memorial speech for my maternal grandfather was about his large, worn, worked hands. My grandparents were blue-collar working people, with the rough, scarred hands to show for the toils.

My grandma who died this morning was an amazing woman. Like the rest of my family, hard working and tough. She had an indomitable spirit, that I often try to channel when I’m having a difficult time.

She was the last of my grandparents to die. She was 95 years old, and even while in hospice, her same stalwart spirit was there.

Her matzoh-ball soup was legendary in our family, and we were all saddened when she was no longer able to make it. In a Jewish family, food is one thing that we congregate around. It is how we communicate. I grew up with grandma’s egg creams, matzoh brei, (often with cottage cheese mixed in), melty butterscotch brownies, a never-ending confusion from grandma as to why I didn’t like gefilte fish, and of course, her delectable matzoh ball soup.

I’ll never have grandma’s matzoh ball soup again, but my Aunt will carry on the traditions of our family and we will now congregate around her hand-hewn oak dining table.




Pugsly and I left our little cottage at 3:45pm yesterday and pointed north to a now familiar drive.

Before this, I’d been to the Grand Canyon twice. Once when I was around nine years old with my mom and grandparents.I think we arrived at the North Rim. It was somewhere around 1980, and there were no Winnebagos, shopping centers, or crowds of tourists gathering like ants along the Rim.
It was quiet. Just us.

There was a storm on other side of the Canyon, and I was amazed at how we could so clearly see the rain coming down.A rainbow appeared near the storm and my little child brain nearly exploded with excitement at the sight of such beauty.
That trip is what cemented the South West as a Magical Place in my mind.

The only other time I’d been to the Canyon was when I was 19.
My then-boyfriend and I had traveled from Southern Illinois to spend the summer outside of Albuquerque in Rio Rancho (when it was first being developed.
There was a gas station, a handful of new houses, maybe two restaurants, and a grade school). Then we drove from Rio Rancho over to visit friends and family in California.

It was just past sunrise when we arrived at the Canyon.
Summer of 1989 and there were no tourists watching the morning awaken across the vast…big hole. We weren’t impressed.
It was a National Lampoon moment, and we left.

I have a feeling that the just-past-sunup light made the Canyon appear flat and diffuse.
That, or our sleep-deprived late-teen/early-20s brains didn’t care to take it in.
Whatever it was, I hadn’t been back to that big hole until two weekends ago with Pugsly and Kerry doggies.

Now, I have been to that Canyon, South Rim, more times in the past couple of weeks than I care. I’m tired of the immense beauty. I’m tired of the cool pines. I would give up ever going back to that natural wonder if Kerry dog would return safely to me.

Yesterday was a fruitless search.
I knew it would be, but I seem to have a habit of tilting at windmills.
Perhaps I should name my truck “Rocinante

Pugsly and I walked the perimeter of the out-of-use water tank fenced in area that connects to the foresty area that borders the Market where I last saw his funny looking old man face. There was no tuft of black hair caught on a pointy fence from where he’d crawled under. Pugsly’s paws didn’t leave any marks in the damp soil, so I know with certainty that lighter Kerry wouldn’t leave tracks.

That was my last drive up there to look for Kerry dog.
Without a sighting there is truly little I can do but wait.
I can keep emailing the Canyon Rangers, localish shelters and rescue groups, and keep his information up on Craigslist and a few ‘lost doggie’ websites.

I don’t know that I believe in “Please keep him in your thoughts and envision him safely back home” but I suppose it can’t hurt. If we truly are made up of intertwined and connected particles, then thought is reality and sending those images of Kerry safe and happy in my arms will help. If you believe in a God, perhaps ask for a favor for this sweet little guy who never hurt anyone but was dumped by his owner of nine years to our Rescue Group, and place into my care.
Whatever it is to bring him safely home, I’m hoping for that.