We Don’t Remember Days, We Remember Moments

We don’t remember days, we remember moments

Ed on his motorcycle. Ed working on his truck. Ed having a burger and a beer at the bar. Ed laughing with friends. Ed listening to country music at the Jamboree in the Hills.

Ed telling stories in the way only he could tell them.

There was Ed the philosopher, Ed the scientist, Ed the astronomer, Ed the computer whiz, and Ed the chef. He knew something about seemingly everything, and in most cases more than just a little something.

Ed had a dry sense of humor and often dispensed sound advice based on his uncanny ability to get to the root of a problem by stripping it to its essentials with the precision of an expertly handled machete.

We remember moments. “There is no death…People die only when we forget them…If you can remember me I will be with you always.” – Isabel Allende, Eva Luna

I know I have my “Ed Moments.” There was never a time when Ed was in my kitchen that he didn’t have a tip for me about everything from cream puffs to glazed carrots and all manner of foods in between. Dawn and I were frantically trying to get the glazed carrots to “glaze” for a holiday party and he came in, asking what we were trying to do, and said we were using the wrong kind of pan. “The saucepan is steaming the carrots,” he said, adding that a frying pan should have been used instead.

He and I went to the movies and out to eat a few times over the last few weeks, and each time he talked about his childhood, saying he was “kind of a loner and buried {himself} in books” as a child. That’s when his love of science and astronomy began to develop.

In his mid to late teens, he took care of his ailing parents over several years with love and the patience one expects of older individuals. And though it took some time, he saved the money to buy them a joint headstone etched with woods, deer, and a lake because his mother so loved these things. He never complained – he just did what needed to be done, a trait that served him well throughout his abbreviated life.

In these last months, Ed watched Laura take charge of his care, relying on her research skills and ability to converse with his doctors from a knowledge base most lay people don’t have. It was a side of her he’d not witnessed before, one he respected, admired, and cherished. Even though he wasn’t pain free, he managed with Laura’s encouragement and help.

And her love for him.

I believe Ed found strength, too, in the warm embrace of friends, He enjoyed being with those who visited and texting messages to those who called because his vocal cords were severely compromised. He loved being with all of you, feeling cared about, and giving back what he could, “being useful,” as he put it. One day I found him putting together some computerized thing and bemoaning the fact that the company hadn’t sent all the parts, but it felt so good to be doing something helpful for someone else. He continued to help others with whatever he could and to be a part of life around him.

He worried a lot about Laura, whom he loved and trusted completely. He worried about what all this was doing to her. We talked about a lot of things, every conversation ending with Laura. Ed’s first thoughts were always about others. He was generous and kind and never hesitated to give of himself, or his time.

It’s hard to think of any death, especially one that comes too soon as a result of something as invasive and heinous as cancer, as a good death, but it brought Ed and Laura closer together than they had ever been. For that I am as grateful as I know they both were.


Laura and Ed did get to Los Angeles, unfortunately during the worst rains California had seen in a long time, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, and the infamous “Area 51.” Even though they didn’t get to take one last trip together, Ed had the woman he loved – and that’s what mattered most to him.

Ed was a cherished flower in our family’s garden. I loved him like a son – and I will miss him more than I can say.

“This flower, too, will fade and be no more” – unless we remember what it looked like, how it blew in the wind, and how lovely was the scent it left in its wake when it was prematurely plucked from its stem.

Laura has set up a site for donations for a memorial for Ed at http://www.youcaring.com/edward-grether-421348 where you will find more information about him and his life.


2 thoughts on “We Don’t Remember Days, We Remember Moments

    1. samfairchild48

      I was unfortunate to have never me Ed and Laura. Today, I feel like I could have been their friend and mourned the losses appropriately. The above story is so poignant that it made me sad remembering moments from my lost relatives. I echo Bob’s sympathies to all.

      Remembering moments comes easier when I recall the days we had them. My first grasp found days spent fishing in Ontario’s Cecebe and Goose Lakes and the beauty of their shores and clear waters. A moment checking out a potential campsite. A moment landing yet another Northern Pike. A moment when my Dad taught me how to set a wire leader at the end of the line above the hook and bait. A moment while cussing a reluctant outboard motor. Moments while he taught this 16 YO how to drive on those new Interstate highways in a French Renault. Moments more valuable than diamonds!

      From 56 years ago, remembering moments that built two new rooms onto the parent’s cottage that Summer. Dad gave me golden moments teaching the rules and art of carpentry and my own hammer! I still have it! We dug foundation trenches with straight, vertical walls, laid level footers, truly laid the concrete blocks, bolted down wall sill plates, framed openings for the desired windows and doorways, raised rafters and covered them with precious plywood. One day, Dad taught roofing and got me going on shingles while he went to the hardware stores for special supplies. He came back surprised when he saw all the shingles truly laid on both roof dormers. The only missing item was the cap shingles along the sloped edges (he had not yet taught me those). He gave me such a big hug!


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