Tag: Grandma Rhea

Father’s Day 2019

Father’s Day 2019

Another year, another celebration.

Today we brought the current peak of the Rochlin’s patriarchal totem pole up to my Aunt’s house in West Hills to ring in Father’s Day with some barbecue and time out by the pool.

Let me tell you, there are few things more magical than having some ribs, taking a dip in the pool and swimming alongside a big, beautiful doggo as Grandpa Joe looks on with a smile.

He really seemed to have a good time. Which is great given how hard it can be to tell how the man is feeling sometime.

It’s hard to feel bad when you’re surrounded by family and dogs out by the pool.

Once we brought Grandpa back home I was able to snag this lovely picture of the three generations of Rochlin men together:

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It took a bit of work to get Grandpa looking at the camera, but I’d say it was worth it. With this being our first Father’s Day after Grandma Rhea’s passing I’ve been thinking about how important it is to chronicle our time with the old man while we still can.

Hence my writing about silly things like our trips to the movies.

But of course Father’s Day isn’t only about my father’s father. Grandpa is only thus because I have a father of my own, and Father’s Day is just as much his — even though a lot of our activities were out and about.

This morning my sister and I went out to get Dad coffee and gave him the one gift that isn’t finished until Wednesday.

He vaguely hints on the off-chance something is written about it later.

Then when we came back home, we spent a few hours making him some pasta and pink sauce:

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Featuring hand-made meatballs and store-bought chicken sausages.

It was delicious, and I’m not just saying that because I made it.

We got his seal of approval. Promise.

So that’s my Father’s Day in a nutshell. Hopefully you had a great one too, or at least made it a good day if you have a more complicated history in that department.

Once more, with feeling: Happy Father’s Day Dad and Grandpa!

Celebrating life

Celebrating life

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:

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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.

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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.

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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.

The things we leave behind

The things we leave behind

We started to go through some of the stuff my Grandma Rhea had in her room at the assisted living home today.

I know that’s a very morbid way to start one of these, so just trust me when I say I have a not quite as morbid reason for talking it over.

Yesterday I said I probably wouldn’t touch the subject for a while, so the fact that I feel good doing this should say something in itself.

None of us seemed to realize just how many old knickknacks and photos of different family members she had hidden away until we began looking through her bedside table drawers.

For instance, this beautiful little stand stood out to me.

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I’m not entirely sure where it is from or what the 30 is supposed to mean, but the ornate leaf pattern is just great.

We also came across a collection of business cards she apparently ordered for herself:

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It was a genuine surprise to all of us that she had these hiding away, as none of us were ever given any of them.

However, it’s a testament to how much she cared about the little knitting business she was trying to start for herself in her twilight years that she went out of her way to get cards made. There were a few half-finished pieces hiding around the room as well.

I’m probably going to carry one of these cards around, or at least store it in my room somewhere.

But then of course we get to the fun stuff: The photos.

I would say the Featured Image I used is my favorite. From left to right, it’s my Grandma, Dad, Aunt Mindy and Grandpa together at Mindy’s graduation from Kingsborough Community College.

In a similar vein, there’s another photo of the three minus my Dad, this time featuring Rhea’s sister Toby who passed away a few months ago.

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There were also a couple of grandkid pictures she kept, mostly school picture day kind of set-up shots for me, my sister and my two cousins.

Arguably the most interesting things we dug up, however, were these:

From the Brookside Hotel in Kerhonkson, New York.

I can’t confess to knowing what these are called, and if you know I would really appreciate some insight. Though in general they kind of remind me of ViewMasters.

On the other side of the larger, capped end are tiny little photos. That cap is slightly translucent and you can hold it up to the light while looking through the smaller end as though it were a small kaleidoscope.

Time has been kind to these, as in 2019 we have magical pocket-sized devices with small, yet fantastic cameras that I figured could easily simulate looking inside.

So I have the photos within to show you in as similar to an authentic means as possible.

First there’s this photo of my grandparents together when they were younger.

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Then there’s this photo of my Dad with his parents later:

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Knowing that Grandma has all of these hiding away actually made me feel a whole lot better about this entire unexpected, difficult ordeal. It’s a good reminder of just how much she cared about us that she held onto all of this for… Well who knows how many years.

The feeling is bittersweet, but more positive than upsetting overall.

It helped that my Aunt Mindy and Cousin Erica were down here today along with us.

Because if nothing else, them being here meant we also had dogs.

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The good boy Rocky (left) and good girl Sophie (right). Plus Aly’s a good girl too, I suppose.

With these puppos, it’s hard to really be upset.

A Grandmother’s memory

I was going to write something silly about the rain today, full of all kinds of jokey jokes about Rihanna and burning train tracks.

But then I got home and found out my Grandma Rhea passed away unexpectedly this morning.

Needless to say that dampened the desire to write anything jokey or superfluous, even if what I had is mostly finished and waiting in my draft folder.

I thought really hard about not doing anything Blog-wise tonight out of fear that the social media machine would think I was cynically using the 85-year-old’s passing as some kind of grab for sympathy or attention.

But honestly, part of my intent when creating this blog in the first place was to keep milestones of my life marked down.

That means the good and the bad milestones. I feel like I owe it to my grandmother to at least say something about her tonight.

Unfortunately, I don’t think it can be anything too profound right now. I quite literally found out about a half hour ago and the wound is still much too fresh.

It’s hard to explain exactly how I feel. I need time to gestate on the thought with my family, and whether or not I mention the subject again in the future will really vary on how I collect those thoughts.

I would like to write a sweeter in memorial for her eventually, but I can’t promise it would be soon.

I can’t even promise I’ll write anything at all soon depending on how much of a funk I get into. But that said, I might shift tone completely and write about happy things, just because it’s a better distraction.

Even if I seem indifferent as a result, I can assure you I’m not. I’ll just need time, as I imagine we all do when confronted with something like this so suddenly.

I’m not out asking for sympathy, just understanding as I take the chance to sort this all out.

Good bye Grandma Rhea. I love you, and I wish I saw you more recently to tell you again.

Good Gladeo Housekeeping

Shout out to video games for making me push off this post for half a week.

Actually that isn’t totally fair. Yes, video games are a large culprit, but I have also been busy running around a bit doing chores and such. For instance I had a lovely time today going out with my mom and grandparents, Rhea and Joe, to get my Grandpa’s walker fixed before having lunch over in old town Torrance.

The walker couldn’t lock down, it had a screw loose, which is a bit of poetic writing in itself that is by no means lost on me. I love my grandparents, but they are getting up there.

Grandma does read my blog stuff on occasion though, and if this is one of those times when I just so happen to be vaguely making fun of them, then my apologies! You know I love you both a lot.

However I didn’t want to spend a huge chunk of this post, for as short as it’ll be, talking about my adventures with the old folks today. It’s just my excuse for waiting so long to finish writing the damn thing.

Instead I’d like to spend some time talking about Gladeo.

You all remember Gladeo, right? The internship I jumped into last summer that I’ve stuck with — despite an admittedly sizable chunk of time when I was dealing with medical issues and dropped the ball. But that’s beside the point.

Now that this summer is getting into full swing I’ve started to plan out more work that I’ll be doing for the nonprofit. Trying to find some industries to dig into, interesting representatives to interview, all that good stuff.

Part of that initiating work for me has been going through my blog/website here and fleshing out my ‘Gladeo work’ section. See, a few months back, Gladeo released a brand new, better optimized website. Before there was an awkward split with profiles on careers filling up one site while the highlights on people who work in that industry were on a different site.

Now everything is all together and it looks much more sleek.

Plus, there’s a better indication on the site showing who wrote what pieces, so it’s much easier to cite the profiles and such I’ve worked on if I decide to go out for more job interviews!

As a result, I revamped the Gladeo portion of my blog, like I said. Not only did I add in all of the pieces that I’ve worked on but haven’t had the chance to talk about because they were lost in the editing process as that new site was being finished, I also fixed the wording to reflect terms that we now use.

It isn’t ‘career profiles’ and ‘career highlights’ anymore. Now we’re calling them ‘career profiles’ and ‘spotlights,’ because even Michelle, the founder, realized that the similar nomenclature was a bit confusing from anyone looking in.

Really that’s about all I have to say on the matter, so if you’re interested in reading the work I’ve done for Gladeo you can now check out that page over on the right!

With some work already lining up, I’m hoping to update that page a good bit more over the next few months. I’ll be sure to keep everyone who’s interested in the loop.

In the meantime, if there’s anyone (preferably in the L.A. area) that’s well intertwined in a particular industry, be it entertainment, tech or anything honestly, that you think has an interesting story that could help the youth of the world determine whether they want to go into that kind of career, don’t be afraid to let me know.

I’d be very interested in talking with them!


P.S. In case anyone’s curious, the title of this post isn’t just me fellating myself for doing an amazing job changing a couple of minor details on my own website.

It’s actually a reference to this Yu-Gi-Oh! card name, which I thought had a nice ring to it.

What can I say, I have the game on the mind after discovering this amazing little thing earlier.

I hope Konami paid well for this little product placement.