Bit of a knock-down the last few days: my grandfather passed, my Last Grandparent Standing. Fortunate to have had him in my life for so long; fortunate to have so many fond memories. He was a mischief-maker right through to the end, always one well-timed pause away from the next joke. I presume he’s back to franks and beans and the occasional ice cream sundae, in a condo at the beach with my grandmother. I’d rather write about him, now, than the regularly scheduled programming.
Herewith, a bit of wit and wisdom from Jack Reilly, Grandpa Extraordinaire:
- Brush your teeth after lunch. You don’t appreciate your teeth until you lose them!
- Rotate your shoes by wearing a different pair every day; it’ll save your back, and your shoes!
- Driving in reverse is a skill equal, if not superior, to driving forwards. Learn it well; it will come in handy one day.
- The Atlantic Ocean will cure what ails you.
- Freeze candy bars, chocolate covered graham crackers, Oreos: They’re surprisingly delicious cold.
- Give more than you think you can to people who need it more than you do.
- If you can’t find a Catholic priest for the holy communion, a Lutheran pastor will do in a pinch.
- Never let someone eat alone in a cafeteria. Break bread with them, whether or not it’s popular to do so.
- The library holds miracles; a library card is a passport to paradise.
- Senior citizen discounts should be embraced as early as possible.
- Bring extra socks to work and change them during the day for a nice refresher.
- Family first, always.
- Bathtime is essential. If possible, recruit small grandchildren to pamper you and sing children’s songs while you relax. (Acceptable because you’ll return the favor tenfold while small grandchildren are still small).
- Revel in the small pleasures, like a slice of New York Jewish rye with butter.
- Embrace likely-shady ancestors, including Irish horse thieves (still a mystery).
- Technology is a marvel. Push yourself to understand it, and use it.
- Timeliness is a virtue. Or “I’m starting the car. We’re late!“
- Friendships keep you young.
- Rest early so you can rise early; rise early in gratitude for another day.
The grumpy kid on the left
P.S. Thanks to cousin Em for the photo xo