Today is my grandpa’s yahrtzeit, the anniversary of his death. According to Jewish tradition, every year we light a candle that burns all day as a memorial. The people at the grocery store think I’m crazy because I just went and bought this candle and two containers of sprinkles for cookie decorating later this evening. But anyway, the candle is burning next to me as I write this.
I realize that he would be 101 if he were alive today. That is hella old. I feel so lucky to have gotten to know him for as long as I did, and the first nineteen years of my life were so much the better because he was in them. I’ll never forget my daily second breakfast with him in Maui, singing the “My Mom Gave Me a Pickle” song in the backseat of the car with him, and how smiley and proud he always was of everything I did, even if it was just drawing him a ridiculous picture.
I remember at his funeral, my grandma took my sister, cousin and I aside and told us that Papa had never worried about us succeeding, he knew we would do that. Rather, he worried that we wouldn’t have enough fun, take enough time for our own enjoyment. I’ve really tried to remember that, and I’ve been much more conscious of finding that balance since she told us that. In light of that, tonight I’m going to go get a drink with a friend or two to remember him instead of sitting around and being sad.
The moral of the story: Papa was awesome, and I was lucky to have had him in my life.