Before Sam and I put Manny down for his nap today, we paused at his dresser where a very special picture has sat since last summer when our treasured Grandpa Hal went to heaven. It was taken a year ago this weekend and it was the last time we saw Grandpa in his own clothes in his own apartment. A couple weeks later he broke his hip, which required him to live the last few months of his life on the 2nd floor of the Plaza in nursing care.
It is a four generation picture plus dog. Which is so appropriate, because Grandpa loved Aslan and Aslan felt the same about Grandpa.
I picked the photograph up and told Manny, "this is what you looked like one year ago!" He reached out to hold the picture and I let him, thinking I could always make another copy if he crumpled it. But he didn't. He began chattering away in Man-lish (which does not make any sense to us yet) and he was animatedly pointing at Grandpa. Sam and I were both delighted and I was filled with thoughts of, "he remembers! Look, he knows Grandpa!"
That's when Manny shoved the corner of the picture in his mouth like it was a lollipop. Since photos are not that digestable - similar to the sticky foam pieces you put on the insides of cabinet doors to keep them from slamming - Manny has chewed most of those off this week ---I took the photo away and put it back on the dresser where it belongs. But it was a nice moment. Full of tenderness and humor. Just like Grandpa Hal. A fine tribute.