Sunday, March 20, 2011

Jo-jo just left with her parents for the 5 hour return trip to the Falls.  Their visit was unplanned and bittersweet.  Just so you know, Jo-jo isn't her name, nor is it Champ, Buddy, or Hey-girl.  I call her by those names and Sofie every-now-and-then.  On rare occasions I actually use her complete name; Sophia.  She doesn't seem to mind what name I call her by and responds to me no matter what I call her.

It's a lot of work to make a whirlwind visit and more so if you're totin' a 17 month old and all her paraphernalia.  They come to the north country frequently in the summer to enjoy the river but not so in the cooler months.  So it was a pleasure to entertain this Pearl of great value, our grand daughter, this weekend while her parents attended the funeral of our son's friend.  I'm not sure but I think this is the first high school friend, of young adult age, that has died from among this cadre of friends.  While it's always sad when a friend dies, I think it's more so when that friend dies unexpectedly and in the prime of his life.  It turned out to be an unscheduled class reunion of sorts.

I don't know the circumstances surrounding Tommy's death, but I know he was a fine young man and a great dad, a good friend and he was young and he's dead.  The rest is minutiae.   Kristy, Sophia's mom, said there was not a dry eye at the funeral; male or female.  His friends came from all over the state to say goodbye to a person who was apart of their formative years. Someone who is a part of their growing up memories and it's startling to say goodbye to one of your memories too soon.  They gathered at "Turner's Inn" and reminisced,  reinforced remaining friendships and made another memory.  That's what we do; that's as it should be.

Grandma and grandpa got to spend a great deal of quality time forging memories of their own with their newest grand-daughter and imprinting some-such on her early development also. 

The joy of watching a 17 month old explore and experience the world without the boxes of culture and society around her was enlightening.  I'm sure I was the same open minded, wondering, exploring experimenting child eons ago too, but I've forgotten how to be so uninhibited in evaluating my world.   She has no reservations about tackling tasks and if we keep quiet and don't interject any you can'ts, you're too little, too young, then she she goes right ahead and does what we didn't think she could do.  We went for a walk and she noticed and brought to my attention: the new buds on the tree branches, the rustling of a dried up old leaf scurrying along the walk noisily attracting our attention.  Then the birds awing caught her eye and the ringing of the church bells and the bright red octagonal STOP sign.  She saw and brought to my attention all the things that normally pass by un-noticed by me as I entertain thoughts of more important things like what the temperature is and how long before I have to go back to work.

 My Champ showed me this weekend what's important in this life: take notice of and relish the small things around you.  Revel in the life you  meet, for too soon it'll be gone.

It was a pleasure knowing you Tommy Johnston.
You left a memorable imprint on many lives; no man can do better than that.

Born: December 9, 1976
Death: March 15, 2011
Occupation: Fiber Optic Lineman

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Blogger Suz said...

Oh Rel that is incredibly sad
My children have gone through this...I went through this
Life is a gift, we never know when it enjoy and love
You sound like you do both

9:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

it was a truely bittersweet trip home.. it reminded me that those short 5 hours should be driven more offten! love you K

10:17 AM  
Blogger Tess Kincaid said...

This is sad, sad news. What a handsome young man he was. My heart is sad for his family and friends.

On a lighter note, I love that you refer to your granddaughter as a pearl of great price. I'm looking forward to having a few of my own someday.

2:33 PM  
Blogger Churlita said...

Sorry to hear about your son's friend. I'm glad you got to hang out with your grand daughter. There always seems to be a balance.

3:59 PM  
Blogger Kay Cooke said...

Bittersweet - you have expressed it all so beautifully. Thank you.

11:11 PM  
Blogger The Blog of Bee said...

How very sad. I am so sorry.

6:30 PM  

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