Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Party and a Parting


Yesterday was my 43rd birthday and I forgot all about it until the wishes started flowing. We are knee deep in rapid renovations to sell our home and move. I've been so stressed about everything that I forgot about my birthday until I discovered this hand silk screened card by Cori Dantini from my sister-in-law sitting by the coffee maker. (Will frame this one) Laura flew in from KC MO to help with the project. I received many wonderful well wishes, many from whom whose birthdays I don't know or can never remember.

This card from Jules also touched me deeply. Robert and Satch took me out to dinner and when we returned there was a very dense and decadent chocolate cake awaiting...and the four of us (Robert, Satch, Laura and me) had a little party. There were gifts via post from family and friends...like a handfull of vintage buttons tied in an antique hankie from the lovely "Di-Di" who also made me a cake and homemade chocolates. How lucky am I!

Ms. Hemingway asked me, "Are you 21 and holding?"
I said, "NO...I'm 43 and proud!"
"Good Answer", she replied.

Thank you, everyone, for the wishes and gifts and for making me feel so loved.

Earlier that morning, my mother called to wish me a happy birthday and informed me that my grandfather died. He was 94 years old. It was 10 pm on Sunday night and he left in his sleep with a nurse at his side and a meditation tape playing softly in the background. He did not die of a disease, nor in any pain. He simply left his body.

I would like to take a moment to pay tribute to my grandfather Walt whom I called, "Gully". In his younger days he battled both alcoholism and depression. In his latter years he became withdrawn, and softer, more emotional. He liked to say a blessing at thanksgiving dinner and would make everyone hold hands...he always got choked up before he finished speaking. He was a voracious reader, he had a thing for Mexico and taught himself to speak Spanish. He played the guitar and the drums and had an accordion in the bedroom closet. Whenever he left me a message on my answering machine (which was rare), he always ended with "Love Grandpa... (pause)....Walt Kaminski" as if he was dictating a letter. (How I wish I saved them)

Dear Gully, Thank you for sitting me in the engineer's seat on the train to Manhattan and letting me blow the whistle , for family sing-a-longs, knishes, diving for coins...here's to your wingtips, your blue eyes, and your 94 years!!!

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posted by Wendy at 12:46 PM

5 Comments:

Blogger Veronica TM said...

He sounds like a wonderful man, full of life. Hopefully you will put the memories of him in a drawer that you will open often, take them all out and play!
Happy birthday, sweet Wendy.

3:34 PM  
Blogger Julie said...

So happy to hear you liked the e-card!! Wishing you the most fabulous year that's full of love and happiness!! Hope you find your nitch in your new town!
we will surely miss you.

4:13 PM  
Anonymous krystyn said...

Happy belated birthday! Your grandfather sounds like a wonderful soul, I'm sure you'll cross paths again someday. :)

9:50 AM  
Blogger pinkcoyote said...

wendy,
this is a beautiful tribute. i immediately choked up upon reading it. bless him for giving you such treasured gifts.
and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! i wish i had known!
when will you be at your new address and please send it to me!
xoxoxo p

4:11 PM  
Blogger Tara Marie said...

Ah, 1963......it was a great year! [I'll be 43 in December] What a beautiful tribute. What a blessing to have 94 years, and to pass peacefully. Gully sounds like an amazing man, who lived a full and interesting life. I hope you write more about Gully as the days move forward.

Happy 43rd Birthday!

Peace, Tara Marie [from Momma says Om]

2:43 PM  

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