The Day After Valentine’s Day

Tonight, driving back from Albany, I saw two shooting stars, and subsequently had two wishes. The first one had to do with hoping for a successful recovery for my dad (he’s continuing to get better. Some hiccups along the way thanks to an infection and changes in medicine but long term looks good). The second had to do with love. And with it being so close to Valentine’s Day, thoughts of the past can’t help but enter my mind. True, a few did revolve around the obvious but most centered on that today is the anniversary of my Grandma Spain’s passing away.

My Grandma was a talented and amazing person who continues to impact my life. Her English teacher background got me through high school. Every paper, no matter what the class, was not handed in unless it was driven or walked up to their house and reviewed. Upon arrival, we would sit down at the living room couch, the coffee table’s drawer would open, and out came the pencils. Soon after, my grandfather would drop off a Pepsi and water for us to drink.

Her influence extends beyond the grammar as she was also into music and, my favorite, baking. While I would never blame her for my pudgier years (or life), she did know how to make a mean pie or cookie. And I knew how to make a mean meal (yes, I did not say snack) out of them. Even when there might have been something she made that I was allergic to, there would always be a side treat of pie crust sticks that were made right before the egg or nuts went in. My mom and her would collaborate and share ideas to always be part of a major meal or event at their house.

Any time I think of her though, the one thing that pops into my mind is the way she would yell my name when I walked though their door over the past couple of years. Few people call me Jeffrey but she did it with a few extra “J”s. It’s a soundbite that will stick in my mental IPod for the rest of my life.

It must be mentioned and acknowledged that without her influence, who knows what this blog might look like. Structure, ethic, and ideas came from many members of my family. The confidence came from her. That confidence to put pen to paper. That confidence to type these words. But most of all that confidence to explore an idea and constrain it to sensible amount of statements the can get the point across in a honest and effective way.

Three years ago, on Valentine’s Day, I received a card in the mail that on the front had a couple cute drawings. One is of a bear, with a halo, dancing on a cloud. The other is of that same bear sitting on the cloud holding a heart. Now, while I do believe in some out-there things, I don’t believe that she’s dancing with bears in heaven. But I do believe that she’s up there dancing, singing, heck even baking, and making others smile.

And I do believe that she’s been holding onto a few hearts for the past couple of years. But mine is ok to put down right now. There’s a few others both in the family and outside of it that could use a little holding right now. Mine’s in a good place. Just don’t let it get too far away.

I saw two shooting stars tonight. And while it may have been space debris, what if it wasn’t? Was if it was a little nudge? What if it was a “JJJJeffrey“? What if it did happen while I was driving through a town she used to tell me about all the time? What if it did happen on the anniversary of when she passed away? What if it did happen in a part of the sky that I just so happened to be looking at twice? What if she did go up to God and say, “Hey, could I borrow these for a minute?” Things happen all the time that make you go, “Would you get a load of that?” and I’m ok with thinking this was just a little sign that she’s still around.

Thanks for reading…

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