A lot can happen in a year. Think about it. One year ago, G-dub was still president. The economy was not on the forefront of everyone’s minds. Life before bailouts. Michael Phelps trophy case was eight gold medals lighter. Hardly anyone knew the name Sarah Palin. We were paying over $3 for gas. We were still waiting to see Heath Ledger’s final film. The Pittsburgh Steelers are now the reigning Super Bowl champions. And the Buffalo Bills failed to have a winning season…wait, that’s not new.
Last year’s first Monday in March was a big day in the life of KO. Tomorrow, March 3rd, will mark two anniversaries of sorts. The first: I have been gainfully employed by Geneva College for one year, effective tomorrow. It’s been a ride. My office remains a bit stale, void of my true feng shui touch. I know my way around campus and the area a bit better. And I have been made aware of the disdain and one-sided rivalry that has been harbored at Geneva toward my dear alma mater, Grove City College.
The second anniversary is a bit more melancholy in nature. Tomorrow will mark the first year that my life has been without the presence of my beloved grandfather, more affectionately known to our family as “Pop-Pop”. He was the last of a dying breed, the epitome of an old-fashioned gentleman, always adorned with a hankerchief his lapel pocket and a cap, and always armed with a legal pad and pen. I know that my opinion is biased simply due to relation, but I am assured of his influence on countless individuals, mainly the many attorneys that worked alongside him during his extensive tenure as a real estate attorney, because of their ceaseless praise and adoration of his guidance, compassion and humility. I hope that I have inherited more from him than blue eyes, an affinity for dance, singing and culture, and the Irish love of potatoes. Yesterday, I revisited an old letter that he had sent me years ago. As I reread his words, he seemed to know me better than I knew myself at that time. His prophetic guidance and encouragement are words that I need to hear today, seven years later. I’m thankful for the time I was able to spend with him last year, despite the times I struggled to maintain my composure during our visits and our frequency of outings to Eat ‘n Park. An “old blue eyes” in his own right, I’m tempted to find an accordian player to play me “Edelweiss” tomorrow while I sip Jagermeister with my lunch in his honor.