I put on my brand-new hat I bought today when I was running to the store.   Just a black hat with a little design on the front, something I could wear with any outfit.  See, as a bald guy, you need to have a few hats in your arsenal in case you didn’t have time to shave your head that morning and you look like Dr. Phil.   I got into my car and I took a quick glance in the mirror and I noticed I had all these little drool stains on the brim of the hat, and I smiled from ear to ear, remembering my Nene.  My wife’s grandmother was the coolest lady.  She was a writer and she would pen tons and tons of stories about her life, about her ever-growing family and a million things in between.  My style of writing is stolen directly from her.  A bit too honest, with a side of funny, and with a few tears.  She was a fantastic writer.  I wish I got to show her my passion for writing, but, somehow, someway, I think she knows.

Just a couple days prior I was hanging with my newest nephew, Chris, The Hawk, or Baby Chris toe ferrrr as his sister calls him and he was eyeing my new hat.  With him being just a few months old I figured what kind of damage could he do anyway.  But boy is strong.  He grabbed the hat and immediately decided to chew on it the best he could.  He’s got one little tooth and I’m sure as any of you know, a teething child will basically bite on anything they can get their little paws on.  So, I let him bite and drool all over my hat. 

This morning, in the car as I stared in the mirror, I saw all these drool stains on my brand-new hat I thought of my new buddy Chris.  I thought about that little dumb moment we shared with a baseball hat.  A small, tiny, moment.  We will have a trillion more interactions as he grows.  But this little moment I got to share with him, I also got to share with my Nene.  He brought me back to another moment, years and years ago that my Nene shared with my then 10-month-old daughter Meghan.  I asked my wife where our books of Nene stories were because I remembered a similar story, about how she found meaning in the smallest on moments, and I cried as I read her words

“…She has spotted my new white pocketbook lying beside me and reaches for the cloth shoulder straps that are sporting a silver buckle.  Enthralling me with a smile she lifts the buckle to her mouth and the coolness feels so good on her gums, she bites away on it trying to force another front tooth into the world, as I hear the click of her two lower teeth on the buckle.  

With spit drooling down from her mouth and onto the shoulder straps of my bag, her Nana worries she might soil the straps, but I assure her I’m only too happy to have Meghan drooling on my bag.

So… today, as I reach for my pocketbook to go out, I caress the straps on my bag and hold the buckle firmly in my hand and know that although I won’t see Meghan today, I’ll have her spit very close to me…and that will be good enough for me until I visit her again”.

Perfectly written Nene.  Thanks for teaching me about all those little moments.  

Even though you have been gone for many years your spirit and your words live on in all those lives you touched, and hopefully in some very small way, the words I write are a reflection of your love for us.  On a random Tuesday night, I cried my eyes out thinking of my little girl looking at you with that same wonder as my nephew Chris stared at me.  We’ve got it good here Nene.  I hope wherever you rest now you were able to maybe share a few of those tears with me.  

Forever swinging on a star. Love ya Nene….

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