Humans and Planets

My Grandpa Zehr died 2 weeks ago. So this past weekend, Levent and I made the crazy 7 hour journey up to Iowa and then turned right around and came back less than 24 hours later. I haven't blogged about any of it because I am unsure of what to say.

The problem of living far away from relatives is that you don't really get to know them. Okay sure, you know them and you've grown up with them, but it's different then living close and sharing every day life together. For me, Grandpa's passing made me mourning the fact that I did not know him very well. For example, during the memorial service, I learned some things about him that I did not know, like how he dropped out of high school after 2 years because he didn't want to take typing (and, well, the real reason was that he just wanted to be a farmer). I learned that he didn't install running water into the farm house until he married my Grandma because she was "used to such things."

All this makes me really wish there was some way to bend time and have a chance to "meet" our older relatives when they were younger. I would like to see my grandparents when my Grandpa met my Grandma when she was a student at Hesston College. I would like to know what my parents were like in the 20s (and maybe borrow some of my mom's cloths). And when I am older, I would like to do the same for my niece, nephews and my kids (if I ever have any). I would pay big money to be able to see and interact with little Sanford, running around with my uncles on their parent's farm, tying goats to wagons and racing them down hills.

Ever since going to the Planetarium in Chicago and learning that my friend, Jilly loves space, I've kind of been obsessed with it myself. (It also might have to do with the fact two really cool space things recently happened. First, Jupiter and Venus were recently seen in the sky, seemingly side by side. I actually got to see that when I was flying back from Chicago to Wichita. It was magical. Secondly, NASA's new horizons probe finally made it to Pluto. And we learned that PLUTO IS AMAZING! Yeah, outer space is nuts).

All this to say, sometimes it feels as if human lives are like planets, orbiting past each other. We only see parts of peoples' lives. We get to be with each other for a small a window of time, before schools, jobs, families, life and death spins us off in a farther direction. For better or for worse.

I would like to believe that parts of our friends and family are carried with us, long after we leave each other. With family especially, I hope that it is woven into our DNA so that each generation leaves only their good attributes with the next generation, whether we know it or not. Thus, my grandparents are a big part of who I am, even if I don't always realize it.