I spoke to my 82 year old grandfather today ... and am amazed, again, at how time constricts, the older you become.
This is the man who took me for doughnuts when I was four years old, for lime sherbert when I was eight. The last remaining relative who actually knew my father, and defends him still.
This is the man who was more than ten years younger than my grandmother, the love of his life, who was her fifth husband and -- although now married to a very nice, age-appropriate woman -- still talks of Edythe Eloise with a catch in his voice.
This is a man now who seems so close to my age, but with the addition of wisdom.
We spoke of family discord and alienation, the typical topics surrounding holidays if you're at all honest, and I was grateful for his reminders of what's important ("Call your brother. It doesn't matter if you think he doesn't want to talk to you. Call your
brother. At least then you can say you tried.")
And now a couple of hours later, when I found myself back in the inexplicably gray mood I've been in for a couple of days, I realized, "Of course. That's it. Family, discussions of family, memories of family. That's what it is."
But, yes, I'm going to call my brother. At least then I can say I tried.