It was chilly that Saturday afternoon when Electra landed on the hillside behind my townhome. The sky was overcast. The winds were light and although a few wispy snowflakes floated to the ground, the accumulation was small. Oh well, not enough to build a fort or make a snow person. Nonetheless it would serve to eventually beautify the landscape, cover the sleeping flower beds with a light blanket of protection, and hopefully provide needed water during the spring thaw.
Although I had misdirected Electra to the wrong date she knew my intentions, corrected her course, and flew five years farther. She landed a week before Thanksgiving on November 17, 2007.
After disembarking, we carefully trudged from the backyard’s slippery slope to the flat front of my Presto home. I walked up to the unlocked door, opened it, walked in and then beckoned my passengers to join me in the warmth. Once gathered in the family room, we became an invisible audience ready for a pivotal scene to unfold in the play of my life. Sort of Shakespearean style — you know, “All the world is a stage.” So, I hope my narration of that particular scene is … “As you like it…”
The family had gathered in Pittsburgh for the upcoming holiday. Doug, the older of our two sons and my daughter-in-law Shelly sit on the sectional wrapping around one corner of the family room while Joey, my 2 ½ year old Grandson, sits on the floor playing with blocks. Mark, my younger son and Amy, his fiancé sit next to Doug and Shelly. DJ is slumped in a large brown Naugahyde lift chair adjacent to the sectional. I watch a much younger me behind DJ’s chair leaning with my arms draped around his shoulders.
We are glued to the TV watching a family football game with as much tradition as the Thanksgiving holiday itself. You know, “Fight the Team Across the Field” vs. “Hail to the Conquering Heroes!” In our household it’s all about “OH-IO!” The game has been blaring from the large screen for, I’m not sure how long. Finally it’s half time. The Band begins their precision march of famous “Script Ohio,” to a tune borrowed from “Le Régiment de Sambre et Meuse,” a French song based on a military poem from the 1870’s, which has nothing to do with football!
Despite the noise from the TV, I was thunderstruck, literally blown away, when suddenly I heard DJ, who had not uttered a single word for over a year, make a garbled vocalization while gesturing in Joey’s direction.
ME: “Did you hear that?”
DOUG: “The marching band? Of course!”
ME: “No, Dad!”
ME: “Yes, did you hear Dad say,“Come here!”
DOUG: “Mom, I heard Dad mumble something but it didn’t sound like real words.”
ME: “He was asking Joey to come over to him.”
MARK: “Why do you think that’s what Dad said?”
ME: “Because, Dad also gestured towards Joey at the same time he mumbled. My interpretation is that Dad was asking Joey to come over to him.”
MARK: “That’s a reach Mom, but if that’s what you think you heard, so be it.”
From the back of the room I watched myself gather Joey into my arms, give him a loving hug, and exchange big smiles. Then as I began carrying him over to Dave, Joey’s expression changed to one of fear. When I attempted to put Joey on his Grandpa’s lap, he recoiled and started to cry saying, “No, too skewee (scary).” My heart ached for Dave and for myself as well. It was in that moment that I had an epiphany …
Seems like only yesterday, or yesteryear, when the magic in my life ignited. Maybe the magic was already there but without my ability to recognize it. In that moment I realized the importance of connecting Grandson Joey to Grandpa Dave. And I did!
Stay tuned to learn more …
Aw, so sad. But you found your magic. Something you can help Joey, Dave and many young readers too.
Oh, by the way cool Ohio script. I have not seen that before.
Using the technique of viewing the scenes from outside provides keen insight into a real family situation ! This segway clearly demonstrates how families encounter these challenges and leads to , more importantly how to successfully deal with it!
And I thought my handwriting was bad. Jeez!