My grandma’s lapel pin

Yesterday, I wore my grandmother’s lapel pin.

It served as an excellent pick-me-up, both for my mood and my outfit. I thought about my elegant Grandma as I accepted compliments on the pin throughout the day.

I have a celestial theory that is all my own. I believe memories enhance the divine experience of those who have gone before. So, each time you think of your loved one with joy, you increase their eternal bliss.

I peeled an apple yesterday and my mouth watered a little remembering my other Grandma’s apple pancakes. I thought about how my dad used to laugh when he’d eat a whole apple — core, seeds and all — and we’d yell in disgust.

I think of my mother in-law this time of year when I see bags of Mary Janes in the Halloween candy aisle. I mentioned my father in-law yesterday as my friend talked about the Sonny Liston/Cassius Clay fight, because that was the night my husband was born, which gave my father in-law two exciting events to monitor.

My husband and I talk about my Grandpa Fey all the time. A hard-working man, Grandpa Fey liked to unwind every night with a highball — Kesslers and club soda in a tall glass with ice — and the Al Schottelkotte news.

A lantern hangs in our family room to remind us of Pap, my paternal grandpa, a coal miner with a heart of gold.

I think about my friends Trina and Karen every day, and I salute them for their determination to find joy in life and their dedication to advancing the cause of cancer treatment.

I think about all these people every day because I genuinely feel lucky to have known them, and to have such precious memories to relish during the everyday bustle of life.

Life moves fast, and there’s plenty to smile about while it does. But, I also enjoy taking a few moments to honor the people who aren’t here anymore, and to enjoy the memories they left behind.

I wore a pin yesterday just like my grandma is wearing in this picture. This is my brother and me, on a bench in front of Grandma and Grandpa’s house in Cincinnati. My grandpa used to joke that my grandma was so elegant she wore earrings just to bring the garbage to the curb.
Our friend Trina gave us hope
I think about my friend Trina and how proud she’d be of her daughter Hillary.
Me and Karen
And my friend Karen who celebrated life, and family, and friendship and, especially, motherhood, every day.
Three generations of Vincents, three generations of goofy practical jokers. In honor of Grandpa Vince, Happy St. Cyril's/
We think about Grandpa Vince and his infectious love of family every day too.
Celebrating Grandma Mary Jane's 80th birthday.
And we think about Mary Jane too, and her genuine love of life.
Baba with all of us in Colver (Vinnie still recovering from his pretzeling)
And, I think about my paternal grandma, Baba Kostelnik, every morning when I sip my tea.
Of course, I think of my dad every day too and I’m grateful for the smiles those memories bring.

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