What you don’t want to do on a cold January day in upstate New York: move across town. Unfortunately, nobody gave that memo to my father, which explains how I found myself shivering and gulping down hot coffee (props to Hudson Coffee Traders for being the only local coffee shop open on Sunday mornings) this afternoon. Didn’t actually do a whole lot in terms of moving things. Turns out that when you’ve got a bunch of guy friends, you don’t really need your 23-year-old daughter around pretending to move things in. After the guys left, I stuck around to clean up a bit and begin unpacking boxes.

I came across a box of things from my grandfather’s house. I was in Korea when he passed, and by the time I came home, his house was sold and everything in it boxed up and stored away. A few of the boxes reappeared today, and after my father left, I started looking through them. I found old pictures, my grandparents’ wedding album, letters my grandfather wrote his parents during the war, my grandmother’s birth certificate and even my grandfather’s dog tags.

The best photo of my father and his friends taken at his Bar Mitzvah. My dad's the one pouring.

My grandparents on their wedding day and fifty years later.

It’s been thirteen months since my grandfather passed, but it’s still hard. There aren’t a whole lot of Weisses; we’re a close-knit bunch. At the time, being in Korea separated me from what was going on at home. Even coming home hasn’t made it entirely real. I haven’t been in the Brooklyn house in a year and a half, but I can feel the roughness of the dining room ceiling, hear the creak on the middle stair, see the security light turn off on the porch. It’s been a long road to get to this point, but going through the boxes today gave me a little bit of the closure I’ve been hoping for.