Monday, May 16, 2011

Floating on the breeze

I was standing in my backyard yesterday just watching Marco show another piece of wood who the boss is as he has about 35 pieces of various wood laying around the yard and I had a flashback to being a kid. I don't know what triggers these memories, sometimes I think maybe it is the smell in the air. Yesterday was cool, yet warm depending on the location I was standing in the yard and the slight sent of floral wafted through. Seeing as my sinuses are slightly plugged, I don't know if I was smelling lilac or lily of the valley. But in any case in that moment I was transported to the dock on lake George and I was about 12 years old.

Lake George was located just behind where my grandparent's lived for some time in SW Rochester. We, my brother, or dad, or whoever else was visiting at the time, would take a short trek to the lake to fish. We used all sorts of crazy things, corn, bread, hot dogs, to name a few, never really anything from a tackle box other than maybe a couple times. There we multiple places around the lake that had docks. The dock right straight off the walking path where the paddle boat was always tied. I always wanted to go on the paddle boat, but it was someone else's, so I just always wondered what that would be like - seriously always. There was another dock that was a little more secluded around the SW side that we didn't go to very often and then there was the tall dock that you could dangle from and you were higher up in the air. So as a kid I probably thought it was really high, in reality it probably wasn't.. I caught my first Bass from that dock.

As a kids summer lasted forever and to me that lake only exists as a summer memory. I don't remember ever going back by the lake in the winter, ever.  I don't remember waiting for seasons to change like I do now. I do remember vividly being scared to death of dragon flies as they swooped past us and floated over the water. I always thought they were some sort of bee and it took me years to know that they weren't. I also hated taking sunnies of the hook, always getting stuck with their poky, barbed fins. To this day I have to take a deep breath before quickly snapping my hand around a fish. I have though become an admirer of dragon flies.

The real thing that I think of with Lake George, is my grandma. I can still smell her home, always clean and smelled of fresh laundry or just wasted dishes, yes the warm dishwasher steam had a clean smell. I think of how she encouraged us to go fishing, giving us bread to take down there. I remember her even walking down there with me a few times. I suppose I recall all this so much because I spent a lot of time with her. I think about her almost everyday, something triggers a memory of her and I always pause and absorb the moment. I remember what it is like to kiss her cheek and today I begin to feel the same cheek when I kiss my mom. Grandma always a warm embrace and a word of encouragement and always, always love from her.

For a woman who lived with such pain for so long and who dealt with so many bumps in life, she never gave up or stopped trying. She always made everyone a  priority, even if she hurt while doing it. I don't know how she dealt with the pain of arthritis when there were few drugs to help. I know what it's like to push and try but I don't think I have an ounce of the strength she did. I also know that on her lasts days it took all she had to say she was done fighting. I think at some point we learn when to say enough is enough.

I think somehow my grandma floats on the breeze, just like the dragon flies. Maybe that breeze is her saying hi and that she is never far from my heart or memory. Maybe the breeze is just her way of reminding me to just fight a little longer, be stronger just a little longer, silently the cheerleader.

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