“I imagine your grandmother and I fishing down at Stones River,” my grandfather gruffly told me over the phone. “That’s what keeps me happy when I’m feeling down and out.”
Tears welled up. I’m driving. I just need to get in the driveway. Choking on my words. I don’t want him to hear me get upset. I want to be tough. I need to be tough because he told me to be tough.
I manage a “Yes sir. I will. Love you.”
My grandfather was explaining to me how to pull yourself out of the darkness, a current debacle of mine.
He proceeded to say, “Just think of New York City.”
My grandfather doesn’t ask many questions, that’s something reserved for my grandmother—the feisty, strong and astute woman that I relate to most. Hearing him acknowledge not just my aspirations but my feelings and emotional state validated me.
But most importantly, however, my grandfather is explaining something I have a hard time remembering: Life will inevitably have ups and downs, it’s your perspective that makes it manageable.
You can get through hard blips by remembering the wonderful moments, the moments that feel like a film montage—the moments I record in my journal and/or blog.
And you can eat copious amounts of dark chocolate (from my mom).