Earlier today, my Cousin Erica said it was fitting that we held my Grandma’s celebration of life on the same day as the Oscars, because she loved that award show quite a bit.
To be fair the Oscars are only coincidentally happening on the same day. We held our gathering today because her birthday would be tomorrow if she was still with us.
I just couldn’t think of a better way to briefly express my appreciation for Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse winning Best Animated at the awards. Since that’s really all I cared about from the Academy tonight.
Plus we saw the movie with my Grandpa not too long ago. That works as a transition, right?
Family, including my great-cousins out from New Jersey, as well as friends on both my Dad and Aunt Mindy’s Rolodex came out of the woodwork to help us celebrate.
My Aunt’s house was absolutely packed with people:
Especially messy considering there were four dogs running around the house as well.
But all things being equal, it was a lot less of a mess than many of us had been expecting. Spending upwards of five hours this afternoon with such a packed house could have been an issue, but it wound up being a really chill, sweet time.
It probably helped that we had a ton of food lying around.
If we Jews know how to do anything, it’s how to lay out a hell of a spread for a celebration. Plus a lot of our extended guests were happy to bring extra food in consolation.
While the food, the schmoozing among friends and my cousin’s heartfelt tribute were all wonderful parts of the event, probably my favorite part was getting to go through a lot of really old family photos and documents with my family around.
I threw a couple of them up on my social media in tribute:
But our collection went all over the place. From mid-1900s pictures with my close family to much more ancient stuff from the 1800s, before parts of that side moved to America during the turmoil of WWII in Eastern Europe.
Another one of my favorites was this piece, my Grandparent’s marriage certificate.
Yet, it would be remiss of me not to spend at least a little bit of time talking about the doggos. I’m fairly convinced she liked those cuties a bit more than the rest of us by the end, anyway.
Which frankly is only half a joke. She loved these pups.
So here I am, becoming the king of the mutts:
That cute guy on the left is Rocky, who was my Grandma and Grandpa’s dog before they couldn’t really take care of him anymore. Though I do much prefer my photo with Rambo on the right.
Such a fluffy boi.
… Oh, and yes they are both named after Sylvester Stallone characters. Can’t tell you if that was intentional or not.
Though I can tell you that my doggo magnetism must run in the family, as I also got to see the original king of the dogs at work:
Look how happy he is. Gotta love it.
I’ve been a little silent about my Grandma lately, as we’re all just kind of chugging along trying to get used to that feeling in the back of our hearts. But realistically, that feeling might never go away.
It just so happens that days like today are really helpful to move forward with a smile and remember the good.
If you haven’t, hug your family everyone. You never know how many more chances you’ll have.