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Entry date: 6-30-2023 – The Things You Forget – Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

A few days ago, I forgot that it was my grandfather’s birthday. I was traveling, of course, and had a few things on my mind. The day passed and I don’t remember thinking about him. I sit here now, though, and I remember.

Last night, we were sitting on the porch having a few beers after dinner and talking. I have often thought there were a lot of similarities between Doug, my Father-in-law, and my grandfather, Tom, beyond both being paraplegic. During our chat, Doug told me that he had considered joining the Air Force back in the Viet Nam days and wanted to fly planes.

This struck a chord with me and made me think about my grandfather. I realized I had forgotten his birthday, although last year on the 25th of June I did post about him. He was a pretty big part of who I am today, and I just feel lucky to have had him in my life as long as I did. He taught me a lot about kindness and teaching. He probably would have been excellent in a classroom.

When I graduated from high school, I rode back to Colorado Springs with my grandparents and Ben. I have documented this trip a bit before in an earlier story, but one of the best parts of that trip was driving around Colorado with my grandfather looking at colleges for when I got out of the Army. I miss those times of us driving and talking.

It’s easy to get busy and forget about the things that made you who you are. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I’ve been taught a lot of lessons by great teachers. The trick, of course, is to access them when you need them. Memory is a funny thing.

What was I talking about?

If we really do have a record of just about everything that has ever happened to us stored in our heads, it would certainly be nice to be able to just grab those when we wanted to and remember them completely. The down side would be the negative things, but there are lessons in those moments, too. It would take a lot of strength for many of us to face those things again, but what if being able to fully recall things would help us heal faster?

I have no idea. There is a reason, I’m sure, that our brain protects us from certain things. Survival instincts are very strong. I just have to think that part of healing from things is facing them. Maybe I need to face the fact that missing people who are gone is just part of life. There is something (no, a lot) to learn about absence and impermanence.


We are off to Farmington today. If you don’t know Farmington, Maine, then you are missing out. Well, not really, but Farmington is a fun place to visit. There are a couple of cool little stores we like and we can stock up on things like Fireworks!

See you tomorrow.

Worth another look.. I miss this guy.

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