I guess this is common this time of year, but I've been thinking about my maternal grandfather a lot the past few days because we just named our new baby after him. He and my grandmother both passed away unexpectedly within months of each other when I was ten years old. We had already lost my paternal grandparents when I was too young to know them, so these were Grandma and Grandpa to me. My memories of them are a child's memories— the special foods my grandmother cooked that we don't have the recipes for because she was too young to die, the magic they made of Christmas every year although they were not wealthy people, the occasional war story my very proud grandfather would tell, the fig tree in their backyard in the middle of NYC, my grandmother trying to teach me how to blow a bubble after she quit smoking and replaced the habit with chewing gum.

So much of my sadness about losing them so young is bound up with my mother, especially now that I am the same age she was then. I know our major life events make her a little bit sad, even now, because they never got to see so many of them. I'm not religious and I don't think there's any way he knows that there's a little boy with his name helping us carry his memory, but hopefully this is one way for my mother to know how much we all love and miss them even though so many years have passed.

How about you all? Do you have memories of loved ones weighing on you lately? Please share, if you feel like it.