Some beloved readers may have noted the stylishly plucky and oh so lucky green jacket on my brother in the family picture from my mum’s wedding. The green jacket is significant. As my brother Mikie was tapped to walk Mama Red down the aisle, his attire was important. So he was to wear the green jacket. The green jacket belonged to my grandfather, Rollin, who passed away five years ago. He couldn’t be here to walk my mother down this go-round, so my brother wore the jacket as a nod to Rollie.
Everybody loved Rollie, and I say that not sentimentally, not just out of respect for the dead. Everyone truly loved Rollie. His sense of humor was dryer than a saltine cracker, his generosity boundless, his devotion to family and putting family first was always unmatched.
There is a building not too far from our home that I can see from one of our windows. It houses elders who walk by with their canes or roll by in their wheelchairs. I wonder how they occupy their days and if they go on walks and chuckle silently about people and their ugly purple outfits or read the “Irish Sports Pages,” aka the Death Notices, and if they watch 60 minutes at decibel levels to eclipse airplanes landing.
It has been five years since October and yet I feel as though I see Rollie every single day.