This past weekend my sister, a marvelous mother and three years my senior, threw a first birthday party for her more then jolly son. Guests were all family, either from my mothers side, fathers, and naturally both…Got to love love, especially when it connects my mother’s sister and my father’s brother by blood…don’t get it? Yea well not one person I have told ever gets it. Just come by a family party sometime. All are welcome.
Upon my arrival I pour a mug of coffee from the source of all goodness, and slip out my backdoor to find my father’s father. Our chats are enticing, raw, comical, and always insightful on family, life, love, and how I see life the way I do. This time I arrive ready with an arsenal of what’s and why’s. Yet, I have sat here for several minutes and cannot recall how he got talking about "the squeeze”. Pause. Lets rewind to a few other classic phrases I will never forget from him.
“A girl needs a boy, like a fish needs a bike”
“A tattoo is like having an old dog that never dies, it just gets more wrinkly”
“The only damn things I care about in my life are books and banjos” Oh of course and his squeeze.
Talking loud and jovially my Grandfather once again spoke on the meaning of life. Which always supersedes small talk; with him there is only big talk, and big laughs. Within seconds I find myself stunned.
“Everyone has got to have a squeeze. Someone who makes you get up in the morning. It is not about sex. It is about someone who makes you want to wake up and live.”
When my Grandfather spat out those words, I burst into laughter. He naturally followed in suit. Going on to explain what he meant by “a squeeze”. Married in their early twenties my grandparents lived a rather adventurous life. Playing folk music at the iconic Peabody Bookshop in Baltimore, entertained their characters of friends, while managing four wild boys, their lives where nowhere near perfect. My grandpa will be the first to admit this. With him, nothing is hidden. He spoke of their struggles through the years, his shortcomings, her consistency, and their love.
There is something so raw and dare I say powerful about this notion of “a squeeze". I have written and rewritten elaborations…yet all I feel I can write is: Find your squeeze, and do not let go. For if you squeeze tight enough you will find yourself in 50 years still waking up honored to kick it with them yet again.