May 27 2005

Thinking of grandpa

My grandfather died on this date two years ago. He was a great man and I’ve been thinking about him all day. (As an aside, my wife pointed out that it would probably be a more appropriate to do this on his birthday rather than on the day he died, to which I responded that, as a Jew, it just feels right this way . . . <g>)My grandfather was truly of the ‘greatest generation’ – growing up through the depression; dropping out of high school to help support his family where he was one of 11 children; eloping with my grandmother; serving in WWII; raising children; working a variety of jobs, but always making ends meet; enjoying retirement; taking care of his wife when she fell ill and eventually died; living life to the fullest. I was lucky to spend so much time with him – summers here in Colorado growing up and, more recently after I moved out here, frequent visits and our weekly breakfasts.  I learned many great things from my grandfather. Among my favorites was a Yiddish saying that he taught me about embracing the path one is on (rather than what could have been).  The (loose) transliteration is:

“Iffin dine bubba oud gattsen baitsen, ze vould been dine zayda!”

Which means: “And if you’re grandmother had balls she would have been your grandfather!”

Something to remember the next time you start down the “if only” line of reasoning.

Thanks  Grandpa.