Day 2 of moving back to Culver City and, of course it rained. My bike went to the Dr. yesterday. Kage’s heart seized and was diagnosed in need of repair. Months after my entrance and now exit from the magical land I lived in on the East side… it was a bit of an eye opener. My last day at the Lake was bright and sunny. But the day that the move was ultimately being done was a sign that the illusion wasn’t built to last.
Tragedies happened this Christmas and things have tended to break around me.
I work temporary gigs. Contractor assignments. Freelance is great and then it’s not enough. I’ve been working my ass off here to stay in Los Angeles… to get that view of downtown from my balcony in Silver Lake. For the opportunity to ride my scooter alongside the ocean. But at the end of the day I’m back where I started this journey- with my stuff shoved in a storage unit and only a few coins left in my pocket.
And then a package came from a ghost. A few months ago my grandfather on my mother’s side passed. He was a bit of a tinker (he fixed watches in his spare time while my grandmother worked on jewelry) and collected miscellaneous things. Growing up, he always had a sea of change. He accrued it from many a travel… Whether it was a trip to the grocery store or running an errand, he’d take the spare change he had and throw it in a drawer. One thing I remember about him was that he always would have coins.
When the grandkids would visit he would dump a drawer of it out for us. We didn’t know it in those days but he didn’t have much of anything really. But back then, we thought he had a million dollars with all the sea of glittering coins lying in that pile.
On Christmas this year I got a package from my grandmother on my mother’s side. It didn’t look like anything out of the ordinary so I didn’t open it.
I spent the time with my son. He asked me what was in the box and I replied:
“Probably jewelry. Granma Munchalfen always sends mom jewelry.”
I didn’t realize it then but inside was something important.
The rain kept coming down. And the harder it poured, the more I pushed through the storms of it all. Just like I always have. And as the rains washed the city and turned my car into something rivaling Swamp Thing, perhaps something happened to me too.
I got the call about the bike this afternoon. Not good. I told the mechanic about my other grandfather who is still very much alive and still riding his own motorcycle. I thought about how much I wanted to fix things here myself. The video game industry is not exactly a user friendly environment as per stability.
My great aunt Louise passed away this week at the age of 91. I thought about my grandparents and about my other family back in suburbia Illinois.
I thought about how much my family meant to me. How I haven’t been home much since I left except for funerals. About the unsent card I found addressed to the grandfather that died when I came back from going home the last time. About how I didn’t have the funds to go home for this one. All that fighting and nothing but pocket change to show for it.
My mother called me to talk about things back there. She asked if I had opened the package from her mother. She told me that there was something important in it.
On Christmas this year I got a package from my grandmother on my mother’s side with a simple note:
“Grandma wanted everyone to get a little something from Grandpa. So she separated the coins and by the grace of Grandpa put them into bags so each of you can start your own coin collections.”
Hmm. Alright Grandpas, I get it.
The answer was so simple but I was too caught up in everything else that I lost sight of it.
My grandfather may not have been a rich man by a financial standpoint, but he was rich in heart.
It’s not always easy but the dream is attainable. Everything is all within your reach. You just have to open your eyes and embrace the change in your pockets.