2.7
November 18, 2016

She was born precisely one lifetime ago.

She was born precisely one lifetime ago.

Meaning—she died, today.

She had a tough life, a good life, real love, real struggles—a New York City, Manhattan life, penthouses, then up in Croton-on-Hudson, the Mad Men’s wife life, Jewish version–then she had to become independent, get a job, support three talented boisterous charming children, fall in love, emancipate, move, struggle, grow, learn…and all the way along, she talked and talked and laughed and listened and helped and talked and yammered and read and read and loved learning and…she was, with my mom, always there for me. She was my Grandma Carol. She bought me comic books, I remember, in 1985. She helped me, a little, in college, and after–if I needed boots or a dress shirt or proper clothes…which was huge. She helped me with advice, too.

She was so funny, and so sweet. I remember well her looks of love and humor and worry and elegance, of picking up the littles thingies off the rug, keeping an immaculate house (a trait I did not inherit). She loved nothing more than driving around neighborhoods looking at the houses saying, “Oh my how I would loovvvve to live there” (a trait I did inherit—I love taste and architecture and homes). One of the most powerful times of my life was visiting her and Grandpa Ferd in Sherman, New York, in the winter—feeling young and brokenhearted and in love and walking the perfectly snowy hills and coming back in warmer months…the country there and the home there were and are some ideal of living, still, for me. The tall antique painting of the Chinese merchant hangs 10 feet from where I write these words—he used to hang in the middle room at the foot of the stairs. The bench, the Welcome sign. Her love.

She once said…you can learn from me by doing the opposite of what I did. But learning from my mistakes. That was classic Grandma Carol. Simultaneously wise, witty, humble and sweet. I learned from that comment that we can all learn from our own and others mistakes. We needn’t resent those in our lives who are imperfect. We can appreciate them. We are imperfect, too. We can all learn from one another’s failings. We all fail. That’s alright: we can regard our failings and your failings and his failings and her failings with humor, and discernment, and patience.

Grandma Carol died today, peacefully, with her loving daughter, my Aunt Liz by her side. She was 93. Her love, Ferd, had died some six years ago. My hope is that I will always remember the details of her, the stories, and be able to pass on some of her love for learning and culture and reading and good journalism and kindness and lovable neurosis. Gosh I love you, Grandma Carol. I only regret I didn’t have children in time for them to meet you and love you, too.

She was born precisely one lifetime ago. Meaning—she died, today. She had a tough life, a good life, real love, real struggles—a New York City, Manhattan life, penthouses, then up in Croton-on-Hudson, the Mad Men’s wife life, Jewish version–then she had to become independent, get a job, support three talented boisterous charming children, fall in love, emancipate, move, struggle, grow, learn…and all the way along, she talked and talked and laughed and listened and helped and talked and yammered and read and read and loved learning and…she was, with my mom, always there for me. She was my Grandma Carol. She bought me comic books, I remember, in 1985. She helped me, a little, in college, and after–if I needed boots or a dress shirt or proper clothes…which was huge. She helped me with advice, too: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2011/05/i-asked-my-grandma-carol-what-are-qualities-to-look-for-in-a-lifelong-partner/ . She was so funny, and so sweet. I remember well her looks of love and humor and worry and elegance, of picking up the littles thingies off the rug, keeping an immaculate house (a trait I did not inherit). She loved nothing more than driving around neighborhoods looking at the houses saying, “Oh my how I would loovvvve to live there” (a trait I did inherit—I love taste and architecture and homes). One of the most powerful times of my life was visiting her and Grandpa Ferd in Sherman, New York, in the winter—feeling young and brokenhearted and in love and walking the perfectly snowy hills and coming back in warmer months…the country there and the home there were and are some ideal of living, still, for me. The tall antique painting of the Chinese merchant hangs 10 feet from where I write these words—he used to hang in the middle room at the foot of the stairs. The bench, the Welcome sign. Her love. She once said…you can learn from me by doing the opposite of what I did. But learning from my mistakes. That was classic Grandma Carol. Simultaneously wise, witty, humble and sweet. I learned from that comment that we can all learn from our own and others mistakes. We needn’t resent those in our lives…read the rest on elephantjournal.com

A photo posted by Waylon Lewis (@waylonlewis) on

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