The last few weeks have been rough ones for us.
Last week my grandfather passed away. He was a brilliant, self-made man who had a PhD from Yale despite a childhood of relative poverty. His mother could neither read nor write English, yet he became a successful engineer for Sikorsky, Amtrak, and later Westinghouse. He was a perfect example of bettering the next generation, and instilled his work ethic and love of learning in all of us.
He was a loving grandfather to the nine of us, his only grandchildren, although he freely announced that I was his favorite. When you are one of nine kids, hearing that you are the favorite can be very special, and I remember fondly when we came for just a short visit, and he took me - just me! - to get ice cream and walk around the harbor. I felt very loved and important!
Sadly, we rarely lived close enough to my grandparents to visit very often, but in the last few years grandpa has kept in touch through emails, and most recently, Facebook, which he joined at age 81!
One thing I remember about grandpa is that he always complimented my sister and I as "both beautiful and smart", and because of that, I figured smart was just as important as beautiful, if not more so. He gave us good guidance when we got that from precious few sources. I will miss his wit and wisdom, and his loving smile.
Sadly, that is not all that we have been facing. At the same time, my grandmother is in the ICU, and in fact was not able to be with her husband when he died. Her condition is not clear, but it is not good; she is a 30+ year lung cancer survivor (who never smoked) with less than 30% lung function. She is no longer a candidate for intensive interventions.
And lastly, David's brother has filed for divorce. His wife has heartlessly had affairs with multiple men over the past year, with little regard for her family of three boys ages 6 and under. It is a very hard time for David's brother, obviously, and we are pretty heartbroken over this development.
So silence over here...it's for a reason. Lots going on.