Last night I partied with my grandfather in my dreams. Pappy had on that sharp blue suit
The one where when he walked down the street he immediately turned heads. People would say, “I saw Lou and he’s still looking sharp.”
There was music at this party
It was a family affair and was as electrifying as the hue of blue in that man’s suit.
Lou danced and didn’t care if he wasn’t great
Because he didn’t go to parties, he was the party
That man had a spirit about him
Always looking dapper like he stepped out of an old movie
where shucking and jiving was the thing.
I smile just thinking about the many nights I stayed up with him watching History Channel
and sometimes little ol’ me sat still long enough to pretend I liked golf
I never could understand the excitement of watching someone hit the tiny ball
while listening to the Charlie Brown like announcers narrate
But that man loved it and if he had the patience to teach me how to properly use a knife and fork
I could watch golf.
I’d ask millions of questions as we sat in the living room that smelled of Foldgers and his cologne
He would sometimes sit at the tiny kitchen table sipping coffee and munching on whatever baked goods
he brought back from Gunthers
He introduced me to my first sip of coffee and laughed at the amount of sugar I added in hopes of making it as sweet as my personality
Lou Berry could make your big problems seem like mole hills as he had the answers to so many things
And his house,
That house holds history we packed up and took with us when we left
That house taught me that its not the structure that holds the love together
but the love that holds the structure
When you’re young and your biggest problems are Christmas lists and crayons you don’t think about
older people and how they’re not supposed to outlive you.
In my mind Lou was gonna outlive all of us
I’d always tell him “When I grow up,” stories not thinking he wouldn’t be there to see it
When I found out he was sick, I didn’t think anything of it
This was the guy that didn’t let not having a driver’s license stop him from going where he needed to go.
If he wanted to be somewhere he got there
And he did things on his own terms
I just knew he was way too stubborn even for death
…but when he did pass
We cried but we also got together and celebrated him over food and drinks and great company
Because that just seemed like the Lou Berry thing to do
At least he’s with Margie now…
He left behind his spirit in each and every one of his children and their children to pass on.
He knew we’d be good with the foundation he created