Thursday, November 7, 2013

Birth, Loss and Gratitude

So, yesterday was my birthday and like most adult parents, "The Birthday" is really not much different than any other day.  The kids were off of school for the NJ Teacher's Convention and we ran a bunch of errands and then did some evening activities. It was just another ordinary day, except I didn't have to wake up at 6:00 am and all the kids jumped on me in the morning screaming "Happy Birthday!"

It's hard to believe we are 7 days into November already and that Thanksgiving is breathing down our necks. At our monthly Kids Philanthropy group meeting, the theme was gratitude.  

The kids wrote what they were thankful for on leaves and clipped them on the Thankful Tree. Then they decorated boxes for a food drive collection that will serve community members who can't afford the food for their holiday meal. A 17-year old girl runs the group and she certainly is a phenomenal role model for these young kids. She started a non-profit charity at the age of 13!  I mean, c'mon!

After our charity activity we met Dr. Fabulous at "Ye Ole Buffet of All You Can Eat Sushi and Other Chinese and Japanese Food." Nothing fancy, mind you, but it was a nice birthday treat to not have to cook dinner and wash dishes. Mind you, I was out with my sister and mom on Saturday night at a very delicious and upscale French restaurant drinking wine and eating amazing seafood and celebrating all three of our birthdays so I certainly wasn't gypped in that department!

Today, the day after my birthday, I got the call we were all kinda waiting for.  My grandfather, who we called O.P.,  died late this morning.  He lived 100 good, long, happy years.  An entire century that man had seen.  Dementia stole the last several years of his life, but even though it was time and he had not been the same man I knew as my grandfather, the words and the reality were not as cushioned as I thought they'd be.  It's sad even when it's time, even when you know it, even when it's been a 100 years.  You still want 100 years more.

Interestingly, my friend Elizabeth posted an excerpt from Rolling Stone written by Lou Reed's wife Laurie Anderson. She wrote about her husband's dying. You can read it HERE but I'll end with this little part : "He wasn't afraid. I had gotten to walk with him to the end of the world. Life - so beautiful and painful and dazzling - does not get better than that. And death? I believe that the purpose of death is the release of love. "

The release of love.

Bye bye, O. P.

1 comment:

kario said...

Happy birthday! I love the stories of the kids philanthropy group - what a fantastic thing for your girls to be involved with!

Sorry to hear about your grandfather. You're right, it's a loss no matter what, but I'm glad Elizabeth's post gave you a beautiful perspective. I loved that one, too.

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