[For this week I will be suspending posts on BOX and my other usual topics]
I suppose it’s strangely apropos that I write this post on Veterans Day. Over the weekend I lost the last of my grandparents, my grandfather from my mother’s side. An entire generational line of my family has now passed. I’ve never really known any of my grandparents very well. There was always a dissonant connection between me and my relatives. It was due to my troubled youth and need to disassociate with my family and find my own way. As I’ve grown older and past wounds have mostly healed, I’ve sought to reconcile all of my family relations and reconnect with everyone. On Saturday I had the opportunity to reconnect with two of my cousins and an uncle. All of whom I haven’t spoken to in years. It was a bittersweet reunion because prior to them arriving at our meeting spot I learned from my mother about my grandfather passing on. Upon seeing my 2nd cousin, the youngest of our family, I couldn’t help but reflect upon how different her connection with her grandparents is compared to my relationship with mine. She is incredibly close to them and actively cares for them on a daily basis. At the age of twelve, she is filled with a quiet innocence, tenderness and glow and serves as a rally point for all of us, possessing a natural ability to bridge the connection between the different generations of our family. My connection to my grandparents serves as a stark contrast to hers.
I was always incredibly resistant to forming any close bonds with any of my immediate relatives. There was always a sense of impermanence in my life since my family moved around quite a bit and this impermanence carried through into my psyche growing up. I’ve never had long time childhood friends or kept in touch with anyone from school. I had to become an independent, self-sufficient spirit out of necessity and at one point in my life I simply decided it wasn’t worth it to connect with my relatives. I reasoned that it was too much of an emotional hassle to me. I did have some interaction with my grandfather growing up and I knew him to be a kind and good-hearted individual. He always seemed genuinely happy to be surrounded by his children and grandchildren and I could tell he had been a good father to my mother. He was an educator at a university in Taiwan and he passed this trait on to my mother who in turn became an educator. His steady and optimistic disposition is inherent in her and my aunts and uncles. I suppose this is my connection to him. Through proxy of my mother I’ve inherited the same optimism, hopeful outlook and educator’s disposition. I wish that I had the opportunity to thank him for this generational gift. Perhaps my thanks to him is in my daily practice at being a greater human being.
Thank you grandfather from one generation to another.
– Sad Rabbit