Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Rockin Chairs and Guitars and Smiles

Can't sleep...again

Today was a pretty amazing day. I spent most of it alone, and for the first time in a long time I actually focused on positive things. Lately it seems every time I'm stuck by myself I take on the "glass half empty" perspective. But today was different.

I slept a lot, and watched some tv, but mostly I messed around on my new guitar...well, not new. But new to me. You see, this past semester I randomly decided one day I wanted to learn how to play the guitar. It was something I'd always wanted to do actually, but I had never actually gotten serious about it. I borrowed a friend's guitar to practice whenever I wanted to. I told myself if I stuck with it then I could buy my own over the summer.

SUMMER IS HERE! And a few days ago, I decided I wanted to buy my own guitar. I felt that I had stuck with it enough throughout the semester (I learned 16 songs ^_^ that may not sound like much, but I was a busy student :P). But the same day I decided to buy my own, something pretty cool happened.

My family has this "tradition", if you will, of eating at my grandparents' house every Monday through Friday. There's usually about 10 of us. My little cousin was riding his scooter that evening while we were waiting on dinner and asked me to fix it. I went out into the garage to hunt up the tools, and there on the top shelf, practically touching the ceiling, was a guitar case. I was very intrigued. After fixing the scooter I got out the ladder and climbed up to retrieve this prize. And what a prize it was! Inside was a most beautiful guitar! :D It was my grandfathers. Back before he had a stroke he played not only the guitar, but the banjo and fiddle as well. He was pretty amazing. I was pretty young when he still played, but I do remember sitting and listening to him for hours. And I also remember how picky he was about who touched his instruments. I was afraid, but I asked him if I could have it, and he told me he couldn't bare to see it go to anyone else. It's in great shape, aside from old, rusted strings (which is now fixed) ^_^

I went to the music store to buy some new strings and a capo today. I drove all the way there and back with the windows rolled down and my music blasting. It was calming. It was perfect. I spent that time thinking about my grandfather, and the man he used to be. We were so close. He used to take me and my brother fishing every weekend. We'd sit on the bank and talk and laugh for hours. He would go on walks with us, and ride us around in his old, worn down van. About 8 years ago he had a stroke and lost a lot of his motor skills on the left side of his body. He struggles to get around now, and isn't always in his right mind. I look at him now and miss who he used to be. Mostly, I miss the relationship we used to have. I barely even say hello to him anymore. Half the time he doesn't even remember who I am. I've dreamed of being able to take him fishing again someday, but I know that'll never happen. He's too sick.

Today, restringing his old guitar and learning a few new songs on it, I was reminded of the days when he would sit in that old rockin chair and play, and smile. I rememebered his promises to teach me how to play when I was a little older. He was so happy back then, so jolly. I loved looking up to him. I was safe when he was around.

I found comfort in promising myself that this guitar of his would serve as a reminder of the man he used to be. The man I still see when I look in his eyes. It's a reminder of the relationship we used to have, and the one I will strive to get back every single day from here on out.

I was laying in bed earlier, trying to fall asleep and couldn't stop thinking about this. Of him. His old guitar is lying on the floor next to my bed, and I can't help but smile when I see it out of the corner of my eye. Perhaps I'll sit in that old rockin chair tomorrow and play for him...and smile :)

*yawn* zzzzzzzzzz...

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