Grandma & Gene Autry

Ber 2

It is the day after Thanksgiving and the kids are everywhere. There are cousins and hide-and-go-seek and stories of our childhoods and food galore and more noise than any of us could handle on a normal day.

If anything, it is a family week around the house.  My Grandma Ber is sitting beside me here in the living room. She is 86 and, always being cold, perpetually covered in a big blanket as we talk together about “the old days.” I have heard most of these stories before, but as we talk she tells me a brand new story. We are discussing an old western comic book that my nephew has opened here on the coffee table in front of us. Something about it reminds her of what she refers to as her “first hearthrob.” She tells me that when she was young she wanted to marry the famous cowboy singer and actor Gene Autry. There was just something “about the way he wore that hat,” she said.

I know I have said it before, but just a reminder here on this Monday morning that stories are everywhere.  My grandma has a history, a life, a brain filled to overflowing with 80-something years of memories…80-something years of stories and loves and passions and anxieties and prayers and questions and wonders.  I bet your family does, too.  There are people sitting right there next to you on the couch with something to remember, a memory that will not leave them, a moment in time that continues to nestle itself somewhere deep inside their heart and soul.  When it decides to live again, it is something to see.

And who knows, you might even have a grandma who once dreamed of a famous cowboy crooner who stole her heart from the silver screen itself.