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Cane Poles & Cameras

I was 22 going on 7 when I lost my paternal grandfather. I was the mom of 2 year old twin boys, and yet still his little "Lisa" that vividly remembered spending hours in his lap singing silly songs and listening to grandious stories.

I wrote the following on the day of his funeral in March, 1993. My mom found it tucked in my makeup bag that morning and, much to my embarassment at the time, shared it with the family. 28 years later, I am so grateful she did. I would hate for it to have been lost in all of the travel and shuffle of that trip. So, in memory of all things Richard Peterson, I share it here today.

Cane poles and cameras;

Rich soil, shuffle board, fresh orange juice, and keys...

Lots and lots of keys.

Jellies and jams, a blue and yellow hat,

And a powder blue polyester suit.

Green plants and long vacations.

Westerns, the Braves, Rummicube, and boiled peanuts;

Tangerines and old checkbooks;

Swimming pools and sunshades that clip to his glasses.

These are the recollections I have of my grandfather.

Silly and scattered they may be, but somehow they bring

a soothing warmth that reaches the deepest feeling of loss.

Adding machines, recliners, and maps;

Cereal, receipt pads, and bandages;

Ointments and pills for whatever might ail you.

Quarters and Snickers for a plate well cleaned,

And a shiny half dollar for a tooth well lost.

A man in prayer.

A short, "Oh Ann," and enough slides and pictures to fill the entire room.

Home movies and caps, coffee mugs, and raisins too.

Though seemingly insignificant, every single phrase consists

of memories that are so very dear to me.

But none as much as a little girl, Lisa,

on the lap of her biggest fan in his favorite chair;

Joined with songs about grasshoppers, railroad tracks,

apple pies, a little banjo player, and a hole in the sea floor.

Yes, these are the things I see when I remember him,

and because of them, he will always be with me...

very, very close to my heart.

~ Lisa (His nickname for me.), March 1993


This blog is a personal collection of my thoughts, wins, losses, memories, and crossroad moments. Almost all of which were hashed out around my kitchen counter and in my journals. If any of it resonates with you and you are ready to free-up the hidden badass you ARE right now, I can help. It’s time… Click the link and Let’s chat.


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