Because it does bring me to meditate, this two-counts anniversary.
In 1976 on a weekend afternoon my parents called. Orlando marked my place of residence at the time, winding down my enlistment in the US Navy. When the call came I stopped sorting through some contact prints of recent photographs; the kitchen of the little apartment I lived in at the time served as my darkroom. That's another story.
They called to tell me that my grandfather, my Dad's father, died on Monday. He'd lived 96 years, and I'd not seen him since shortly after I'd enlisted in the Navy and left Michigan. So it is my recollection, five days post event being notified of this transition. I commented that Granddad died on my birthday to my Mom, and she replied that's why they didn't call right at the time.
Gramps was the only grandfather I really knew. Mom's father died before I was born. Gramps lived on the shore of Lake Huron. I learned how to swim there, how to shoot a rifle, that sometimes hard work is necessary, not to mess with snapping turtles, and that heat lightning may not be accompanied by thunder. Gramps passed a great skill with tools and machinery on to his son and grandsons; there's types of machines I don't care to work on, but I know how. Maybe I'll pass on details later, still, every time I use my windshield defroster I say thanks to Gramps for designing the first one to replace a lit candle in the windshield. Yes, I mean the very first forced-hot-air windshield defroster.
Here's to you, Gramps. Birth, Death, Life.