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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Game of Chess

I don't know how, or when, it first happened, but a few years ago Lucas took an interest to chess. My mom bought him his first chess set and he was so excited to start playing.

Thank goodness Joe knows how to play, because I know nothing about the game of chess except the name of the pieces!

There were some tears and frustration in the beginning as Joe, not one to just let Lucas win, would win every game. But Lucas hung in there and that first time he beat his dad in a game of chess was pretty thrilling. He still didn't win too many games against Joe, but they kept playing and eventually he started winning more and more until Joe said they were pretty evenly matched.

Lucas joined the chess club at his school last year and then the library started a chess club which he joined as well.

He went to his first chess match with his school and finished 8th out of 18 players.

The library's chess club had an informal tournament and he placed second.

The kids and I went to Wisconsin for my grandmother's funeral and I took him to the basement of my grandparents' house to see what treasures we could find.

There was the Frisbee that we took outside until the bugs and the darkness that got the best of us, there was the Etch-a-Sketch that prompted Lucas to ask for one for Christmas, and then there was the jackpot: the chess set. Two chess sets actually. He brought one upstairs and thankfully had some willing competitors in his great-uncles and second cousins. I'm glad these memories were made because I know he thoroughly enjoyed himself.

And he's finally stopped asking me to play chess.

"I don't know to play, Lucas!"

"I'll teach you!"

Chess doesn't make sense to me. Maybe I just don't have the patience to learn it!

I'm glad that he's got his dad, and his chess clubs, to keep him sharp with the game though.

Friday, September 08, 2017

They Are in the Moon

A few weeks ago, out of the blue, I had this conversation with Kayla.

Kayla, "Pepere went to the moon."
Me, "What are you talking about?"
K, "You know your dad? He died?"
M, "Yeah..."
K, "You know your dad's in heaven?"
M, "Yes..."
K, "Pepere went to the moon."
M, "Since Pepere's in heaven he's visiting the moon?"
K, "Yeah! He's in the moon!"
M, "Did Pepere tell you that in a dream or something?"
K, "Yeah! He said Hi Kayla. I love you. I'm in the moon."

Sometimes I don't think the finality of death is clear to Kayla or that she fully comprehends what it means because she has said she wants to go to Pepere's house. When I remind her that we can't go see him in his house anymore because he died she'll say that he can come to our house. I tell her he can't do that anymore either because he's buried in a cemetery in FL.

But then other times she'll say something so profound like this image of him being in the moon.

I never thought of it that way - the souls of our loved ones being in the moon - but now that she's verbalized it I think it's a beautiful thought.

She has said this several times since then; telling me my dad is in the moon and saying the moon is bright from my dad.

My grandmother (my mom's mom) passed away the evening of Sep 5th. On Sep 5, 6, and 7 there was a full moon. Thanks to Kayla I'm now inclined to think the moon was full those 3 nights, and a little brighter, because my grandma joined my dad in the moon.

My grandma was 88 years old; married for 66 yrs and had 6 children

(This isn't everyone) They have 11 grandchildren (+2 predeceased at birth) and 12 great-grandchildren

Such love between them. My grandfather was her caretaker the last several years. 

A 4-generation photo shortly after Kayla was born.

It goes without saying that my dear grandma will be deeply missed.