Sean’s grandfather, Pepaw Lewis, passed away this morning.
We didn’t spend much time with Pepaw, despite the fact that he lived so close. He was a hard sort of man, a little gruff, but also sweet in that old man way. There was some family history that I never fully grasped. We did see him at Christmastime or Thanksgiving some years.
The last time I saw him was at the hospital, where his son, Sean’s dad Reid, was getting ready to have open heart surgery. I saw him the day Reid was admitted, and then again a couple days later. He grinned at me and said, “I saw you the other day!” Not realizing what he meant, I said, “Really? Where?” And he responded cheerfully, “The hospital!” Maybe I just have a thing for Meadows men; I found this to be absolutely adorable, and I gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek.
Mema, Reid’s mother, says Pepaw had told the family he was ready to go. He would have been 85 next month; he lived a good long life.
I do wish, though, that I’d gotten to spend more time with him.
I’m notorious in my family for having a bad memory. I “remember” things that apparently didn’t happen, and I don’t remember a lot of things that did. The first can be attributed to my healthy imagination–I have always made up stories about people or played out scenarios in my head over and over. I’m not sure what causes the latter.
I think it’s because of my “Swiss cheese brain” that I turned into such a compulsive archivist. I logged pretty much every single Internet chat I ever had. Even with people I later blocked. Even if it was just a one or two line conversation.
And I would go back and read logs occasionally, and I was almost always surprised every time I did. I would not remember having the conversation. I would believe it happened, and I would understand my frame of mind, but I wouldn’t remember the conversation itself.
I had a somewhat heated discussion with someone the day before the fire. I’ve thought back on it several times since. It wasn’t a bad conversation, but I expressed my feelings fairly strongly, and I remember having a profound reaction to the person I was talking to. This is the sort of thing you’d think you’d be able to remember.
But of all the chats I’ve had in the past almost ten years now, there are only one or two that I can remember with any clarity…and even then I remember feelings more than substance. I’m going to forget this chat too, I think…I’m going to forget how and why I was so fired up. And now I won’t even have my logs to go back to.
My memory has been a good thing, in a sense. It’s helped me to forgive many people. Things that made me horribly angry in the past are wiped out, so I can move on.
But I’m uncomfortable with that. I’m unhappy that I literally have to forget in order to forgive…and I’m unhappy that I forget so easily in the first place.
Mom and I used to go to the hospital a lot, for my checkups. On the way home, we’d always stop at the little bagel place that used to be on Nicholasville Road just before Man O’ War Boulevard. That was where I first discovered blueberry bagels with strawberry cream cheese. I almost invariably got one every time we went.
After a time, the bagel place closed and was eventually replaced by Popeye’s chicken. This happened towards the end of my hospital visits, though, and soon enough Mom and I weren’t taking routine trips up to Lexington together. I started going to UK, making the daily jaunt up Nicholasville Road alone. Soon I discovered the Intermezzo up on the mezzanine of Patterson Office Tower, central campus. That casual cafe became one of my regular haunts…and I’d always get a blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese to munch while doing my homework or reading.
For my first year here in Georgia, I really didn’t eat bagels. I hardly ever went anywhere, and I didn’t have an income to speak of, so they weren’t high on my priority list. But now that I’ve got my own job–a place to go during the week, plus money–I’ve been adding bagels to my shopping lists.
So now I sit here at my desk on my lunch break, preparing to dig into a nice blueberry bagel with strawberry cream cheese. :)