a memorial

last thursday, mom, dad, colin and i packed up our stuffed animals and headed to the airport and off to florida.  it was part family reunion fun, and part memorial for my great grandfather, james dorman. and appropriately so, since friday the 24th would have been his (gasp) 96th birthday.  mom’s got great family genes. i’ll take it. i can only hope to be emailing my grandkids like he did with her well into my 95th year.

mom being the nervous wreck she is, was afraid to get put on the spot by the family elders. so she prepared something for the service.  in the end she didn’t get the chance to say what she wanted to, to honor her grandfather.  so it seems sad to not ever say it…

(dr. james dorman – february 24, 1916 – december 16, 2011)

when i was a child, if you asked me what my favorite thing about my grandfather was, it would have been that he had a pool – with a waterslide.  and a lake – with tadpoles. but not the fire ants. the fire ants that lived in the grass that i liked to run barefoot through, between the pool and the lake.  that’s exactly what i would have told you, as a child.

as a teenager, if you asked me what my favorite thing about my grandfather was, it was that he was a veterinarian.  he worked with animals; helped care for them. he even took his own children along at times, my mom, aunt and uncle (though possibly scarring them for life) to witness his work and teach them.

as a college student, if you asked me my favorite thing about my grandfather, I’d tell you that he had become the father i needed.  praising me and challenging me to finish school, and to follow my ambitions of becoming an civil engineer.

and lastly as a mother, if you asked me my favorite thing about my grandfather, it was that he loved all his great grandchildren so very much, those he knew as well as the ones like mine, whom he never even met. that he is the honored and cherished patriarch of this family, and that he has helped create a strong and beautiful family tree…

it worked out for the best anyway; you see mom is a crier. this is just the stuff that gets her going. currently, the running joke/question in the house is when dad asks me, “when you go to kindergarten this fall, what’s mom going to do?” to which my reply (in total giddiness) is, “she’s gonna CRY!” mom’s glad we find it funny.


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