my grandparents are the coolest people i know. to sit in their house everyday—watching and observing their daily routines, is a gift. the way my grandfather folds the morning paper, slowly and methodically eating his breakfast consisting of yogurt, coffee and gluten-free, sugar-free food variants. the way my grandmother bends her glasses downward just a little more to make sure the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed on letters to old friends back in seattle. calvin and hobbes is no longer in the comics, my grandfather now reads me political cartoons—conversation ensues and history unfolds. school is no longer out at 3 o’clock, but my grandmother still offers apple slices and (lactose-free) milk during the afternoons. they describe growing up in pittsburgh and altoona: the cox family grappling with others at pap’s high school football games; teenage gram smoking down by the altoona railroads, it was catholic rebellion. they remember things and let us kids know that simple things are what make life enjoyable—opening a book to find scribbled notes, the small pen smears in a letter, the feel of dirt in a garden, and humming to songs on the radio.
the other day i stood in the hallway, leaning against the corner of a door frame. my grandmother, smaller and smaller, was telling me about their daily acknowledgement of obstacles as elders. my grandfather came down the hallway, stood next to my grandmother and took her hand. her expression of love, gratitude, and appreciation for another human being when she looked at him is something i’ll never forget.
“never forget to hold hands, sarah.”