I’ve whined about this before so let’s continue the whine. I wish that my grandchildren were able to really get to know Marty, the way Marty was, the energy that was Marty before the strokes. I wish it for me, I wish it for them, I wish it for our kids, I wish it for Marty.
Alas, wishes like these don’t really come true, sort of.
Our daughter Erin posted the following conversation with her daughter Lily on her face book page:
Me: What did you have for snack today?
Lily: The Snack Fairy brought us red and yellow goldfish. I know the Snack Fairy isn’t real. It’s really Miss Morton. Some kids think she is real though…
Me: Well that’s cool. They can believe whatever they want and I bet it makes them super happy to believe that. So…don’t argue with them about it.
Me: Why not? Are they hurting anyone if they believe in the Snack Fairy?
Lily: No…I just don’t like it.
Me: Hmmm… Remember how we believe in Jesus and God?
Lily: Yes…they are REALLY real.
Me: Well…yes, but some people don’t believe they are…Some people believe in something else completely different than us. Are we hurting anyone else by believing in God and Jesus?
Me: Do we have to change what we believe just because someone else doesn’t feel the same way?
Me: Exactly. It’s not a matter of being right or wrong. It’s about respecting other people. So…as long as we aren’t hurting anyone with what we believe, we can believe whatever we want and other people can too! And guess what?! We can all still be friends. So….if tomorrow a friend at school says, “I know the Snack Fairy is REAL…” You can say, “Hey that’s super cool!” And leave it at that…Got it kid?
Lily: Got it Mom…
This interaction is so Erin, it is so Marty. In a simple conversation tolerance, love, acceptance, understanding is taught and modeled in a way Lily will always remember.
I see it a lot, I see it in both of our children, I see the mother Marty in the mother Erin, I see the mother Marty in the father Matt, our son, I see so much of Marty in our children and it makes my heart smile.
I too often have worried, will our kids remember the lessons and the life of the real Marty, will their children ever know the fun that was Marty, the crazy that was Marty, the passion, the love, the fire that was Marty.
The fact is the children of our children will never get to see and feel what was. I worry, I mourn.
And then I see our kids with their kids, I see Marty; I see her wit and wisdom and passion living through Matt and Erin.
I suspect it’s what all of us want. We want our good stuff to live on, we want the good stuff that made us who we are carried on by our off spring, it’s positively instinctual. It makes me feel like a real father, I know it makes Marty feel like a human being again, to see our DNA, our life carried on in the people we raised.
I am in love with and proud of my wife. I am amazed at who she is today, I am forever grateful to the woman she was and I often long for the person she was before life changed. That memory and love for Marty, at times, makes me sad for the losses we have all endured and that sadness is magnified at those times when I think our grandchildren will never know what was lost.
And then I watch our children and realize how they carry their mother with them, always.
That sadness never goes away, that sadness is mollified when I see our children carrying Marty with them.