Dirk Knemeyer

Time marches on

Late in his life I would visit my grandfather periodically, perhaps once a month. He sat in his study in a recliner every day, slowed by various maladies. I would sit with him for a few hours and he would talk about his life. During these visits, the focus was on my grandfather, with whom I was very close.

At the same time, my grandmother was always there as well, sitting in the kitchen right next door. She was ostensibly cooking something most of the time, and kept a small television set in there to watch during the day. Perhaps her favourite thing to watch was golf. When I would arrive and leave, it would involve going through the kitchen, talking with her a bit, and watching the golf with her. Her favourite golfer was Tom Watson, whom she saw as a more likable protagonist than the great Jack Nicklaus. Grandma was an exceptional athlete and had a whole collection of loving cups from her own golf tournament victories.

This week, her Tom Watson made an improbable run at a British Open championship. All week, every time there was a story about it, it made me think of her. She passed away almost 14 years ago, yet Tom Watson’s success this week brought her right back into my life, every day, in a familiar and happy way. As Tom fell agonizingly short of victory and then collapsed on during the playoff to lose the championship, it made me think that this might have been one of the last things that happen in the world which take me back to my grandmother, as if she were still in the kitchen, watching her golf as she always did. She was a lovely person, and Tom Watson helped me remember how much I miss her.

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