This is another excuse to write on a sketchblog.
I want to teach the internet things it doesn’t know and show it pictures it hasn’t seen, and would never see, unless I found an excuse for it.
This one is about my grandfather.
His name was Nikos, like mine, which is what usually happens to grandkids and their grandparents in Greece, which is also coincidental and lucky, because he was not my
real grandfather mother’s father, but her stepfather.
And I cannot tell you if he loved me more than my other grandfathers and granduncles, because love cannot be measured, but time can be (that’s why mothers spend nine months attached to their children), and he was always around our house, to see my mother, us, and my dad.
Time, since measurable, can also not be enough.
For (an) instance (of time), when Greece won the 2004 Euro Cup (that is football, for the uninitiated, much like me), the first thing I thought but did not tell anyone (until now), was that I’d wished my grandfather was around for a couple more years to see this, cause it would have made him the happiest man in the world. And, that would have made me even happier.
My grandfather could tell stories forever and for-everything.
See, he was a marine engineer, and amongst other places, he went to Japan before I did.
Sometimes he would let go of the wheel and (I found out later) use his legs to steer, and say to me “…see, like Michael Knight, easy”. We had a very approximate system of measuring mine and my sister’s height on the buttons of his shirt.
And whenever we played poker, he always said “You pay a full ticket, you see the full movie; you pay half a ticket, you see half the movie”. Which is one thing he kept repeating, and in retrospect, I reckon it’s because he wasn’t talking about poker at all.
Fast forward to September 2014.
My grand-Mother made time stop for me, for around 17 seconds. She does have some magical skills, divination included, which go from grandmothers to grandsons, of course, but she didn’t have to use them this last Fall.
And you never expect to learn these things while you are holding a white saucer with a marzipan cookie in it.
My grandmother told me, without much warning: “The last thing your grandfather said to me and his children, and his breath left, was ‘love each other’”.
And I wish, to us all, we’ll be happy enough, to have such a nice thing to say, when there is no time left.