Leland Marlowe Read

My grandpa (on my dad’s side) died a year ago this past weekend. Puts a bit of an interesting spin on Mother’s Day for the family.

I’m apparently being forced to do some serious introspection regarding loss. Not necessarily just death (though that seems to be the big theme the last few months)….all kinds of loss.

Damn I love my family. The whole kit and kaboodle, man. Quirks and oddities. All of it. All of them. There’s nothing I can’t learn from anyone in my family.

I miss my grandpa. I miss his laugh, his cologne, his turkey gravy, his initial irritation when I didn’t know how to use a steak knife. I miss his stories and his music. He played the organ. Every evening, he’d jam out to some of the most amazing music you could possibly imagine. Visiting my grandparents house was always an adventure.

Grandpa loved to grill. I loved seeing him sitting on the back porch/patio/whatever, drinking a beer and grilling up something amazing (I’m pretty sure it’s where my dad learned to do all the awesome grilling he does). Except for the occasional dousing of MSG, everything grandpa cooked was delicious and wonderful.

He always had some new-fangled technological something-or-other in the house. One year, it was a thingy that you could edit home videos on, which my dad, grandpa and uncle Mike spent the entirety of Christmas afternoon trying to figure out.

And oh how he haaaaaaaaaaaaaated noise! Especially screaming little girls (me, my sister, my two cousins). He abhorred it and we knew it…and learned really quickly to be ever so quite while having our fun!

He loved the lake in Pennsylvania, loved to tinker in the garage, loved that old old Toyota truck of his.

But most of all he loved my grandma.

My very favorite memory of my grandpa is from when he was out in Denver for my brother’s high school graduation. He had fallen and broken his hip while he was here so their stay got extended (you could say). My grandma and I went one day to visit him in the home he was doing his initial rehab at in Denver…the dymensia had long since started setting in along with the Alzheimer’s which sucked all up and down the place (he’s such a great story teller…it made me sad when the stories started getting out of whack). Anyway, that particular day was when Reagan died. I was the one to break the news to him. He was pretty sad about it…he has tons of stories about Reagan. So he started telling me one of them. Grandma had to fill in a lot of holes, but grandpa did most of the story-telling…he finished the story with a great deal of flair, but missed what I think must have been a major point of the whole thing so grandma filled that part in too….and as soon as she finished, he squeezed her hand, looked at me and said “And that’s why she’s my girl!”

I want that kind of love…

One thought on “Leland Marlowe Read

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