Family Gathering.

Today we interred my grandparents’ ashes. It was particularly hard for my father and aunt. As their children, it was up to the cousins and Bo and me to do what we could to comfort. I couldn’t help but notice that Bo and I score high in the ‘stoic and protective’ kind of comfort. Ah, family: It’s all dysfunctional on the inside.

It was a beautiful day, and I like to think that scattering their ashes in the Pacific Ocean is the right thing for Grandma and Grandpa. He can sit at the bottom and complain that things are certainly not as good as they used to be: You call that a crab trap? In MY day they were bigger. They lasted longer. And they caught more crabs. She can flit around the whole world, seeing stuff and wondering and having the kind of curious adventure she loved in life.

I have never understood how they got together, Grumpy Grandpa and Hippie Grandma. She was a peacenik who loved shiny things and he was a poker-playing Captain in the army.The things I have inherited from them reflect that. I got Grandpa’s poker chips and Grandma’s sewing notions.

And today, lottery style, my father doled out my grandfather’s collection of World War II daggers.Yes. I now have a dagger in my house that probably killed someone. Yuck. I tried to explain to my father that I didn’t want one, but in his head 6 grandchildren and 6 daggers = easy math. Now it’s on me to decide what to do with the giant chunk of bad karma I’ve got sitting here.

I’m thinking about selling it on Ebay and donating the money to the SPCA.

8 Comments to “Family Gathering.”

  1. By Helen, May 8, 2010 @ 9:41 pm

    My grandparents were as politically opposed as you can get, yet somehow they managed to. get along. My own politics are closer to my grandmother’s, yet I was always ‘Grandad’s girl’. I guess sometimes love transcends the obvious.

  2. By Zoe, May 9, 2010 @ 12:33 am

    It sounds like you handled a difficult and sad moment with dignity and humour. Its always amazing how mix matched people get together and stay together through think and thin.

  3. By John, May 9, 2010 @ 9:31 pm

    Yeah, that dagger’s interesting to deal with on a literal level, I bet.

    Maybe not think about the life/lives it may have taken, but instead the life it saved.

    Maybe Grumpah and Grandhippie wouldn’t have had the chance to meet if it hadn’t been for one of those daggers.

    (even if it was only to open a can of sterno)

    ((ReCaptcha: “intensity Test”))

  4. By Liz, May 9, 2010 @ 11:11 pm

    Helen and Zoe, welcome to the blog. And you’re both right. Love is never predictable. In fact, it’s downright puzzling.

    John, it may have saved lives. But even that’s problematic. It was, to put it delicately, worn by a person or people who were not on our side.

  5. By gen, May 10, 2010 @ 7:48 am

    Even if it belonged to someone on the other side, lives were possibly saved and unless the person who carried it was high up in the army, he was probably a young boy who had to go fight in a war that others started. Maybe somewhere a woman just scattered the ashes of her grandfather and grandmother into the ocean, a woman who was lives because of that knife.

    Say a prayer for peace over it.

  6. By LIz, May 10, 2010 @ 2:59 pm

    You’re right, Gen. It might have let people live as well. It’s just I’m so knee-jerk about weapons, really.

  7. By John, May 12, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    I remember finding the s.w.a.s.t.i.k.a flag in my Grandma’s hidden closet upstairs at her place on 33rd, and thinking “wow, what’s this?” and then asking about it, and after a moment or two of some shifty eyes, I was told that it was “captured” when my grandfather was overseas.

    I try not to think too much about what might have gone done that would mean an electrical engineer type guy would have had access to such a souvenir.

  8. By John, May 12, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

    ... gone DOWN

    Wow. No typing today.

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