grandfathers and writing conferences

ohio river

i left town last week.  i’m leaving again on thursday.

i couldn’t leave soon enough when my children were small.  little hands hooked around my neck and breathing so close, too close.  no quiet.  always taking care.

it’s not like that now.

now it seems like time sneaks up on me and my ride is at the door.  i say goodbye to every child two or three times too many and i leave wondering if there was more i could have done.


i’m going to the faith and writing festival this week.  i’m not counting down the days and really, i haven’t caught up on the rest that i need from going away this last weekend.  if i didn’t go, that’d be alright.

but i think i’m going to find myself there anyway.

that might be the best way to go to any place.  low expectations and believing that home is better than the destination i’m going to end up at.

i’ve lived the other way for far too long.


i visited my grandfather this morning.  he’s been in an assisted living facility for a couple of years now.  i brought him a doughnut and a cup of coffee and we sat at his small dining table; he in his wheelchair and me in a real chair.

i told him i was going to a writing conference.  i picked up my hand and mimed writing when he asked me to say it again, his hearing not so good.

he used to take me out on country roads and get out of the driver’s seat.  he’d walk around to my side and have me get out to drive; giving the lessons he thought a grandfather should.  i was the only granddaughter and the youngest grandchild.  he’d done that same thing six times before with every boy and he didn’t leave me out.

he nodded a little and sort of smiled about the writing conference.  i knew he had no idea what i was talking about.  then i helped him out of his wheelchair and back on to his bed.

it’s good to give things their proper place.  it’s not wise to ask why the former days were better than these and more foolish still to imagine that what’s coming up on will transform life for the better.

there is today.

best to make peace with it whichever way you can.

i’ll be blogging from the festival this week…
look for thoughts on writing and writers.  see you in grand rapids.

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