Wednesday, October 15, 2008


{This is a letter I wrote to my Grandmother, Esther Faye Gilstrap (94). I read it to her Monday. She passed away last night.}

Thank you for choosing to quit your job and stay home with me, so I wouldn’t have to go to daycare.

Thank you for coloring with me on the couch everyday. I was amazed by how you stayed in the lines.

Thank you for not getting (very) angry with me when at four, I pretended to be passed out on the kitchen floor.

Thank you for sewing up the bottom of the label in my new coat, so I’d think there was a “secret pocket” in it.

Thank you for making me peanut butter and honey sandwiches everyday for lunch. I still can’t replicate your mixture.

Thank you for making me ‘koala bear’ shaped pancakes. I still can’t replicate those shapes for my kids.

Thank you for even having your own style of “bye-bye” wave whenever I left your house. Only, it hurt to see it when we moved out of your house.

Thank you for taking me to TG&Y whenever I came back for visits. Every model I made was for you, and my mediocre craftsmanship was always met with great accolades. And with every Lincoln Log home I built for you, you made me feel like a master architect.

Thank you for sending me money right when I seemed to need it most, and then telling me to spend it on something frivolous.

Thank you for nurturing a wonderful marriage with Granddaddy. You taught me how a selfless relationship is done. And by the way, thank you for being a model for the type of woman I would look for as a wife.

Thank you for opening yourself up to Chana when I first brought her to meet you. I witnessed kindred spirits bonding that night.

Thank you for contributing to our move to California. It would not have happened without you.

Thank you for teaching me about basic human kindness. You have left an indelible mark on my life and I am, in many ways, the man I am because of you.

Thank you for living to an age old enough for me to have the opportunity to get smart enough to really BE thankful; to know what I have been given.

Thank you, that when I am granted passage to heaven, we can again sit together on a couch somewhere and color. And this time, I will try harder to stay in the lines.

Thank you Grandmommy. I love you forever.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

iPhone, How I Love Thee

...but thou hast come at a great price.

I officially drank the iPhone kool-aid last week, by ending my 30 day trial early and porting my permanent cell # over. It's everything you've heard and more, living up to the "Phantom Menace" sized hype.

So if I'm so high on this marvel, what do I mean by great price? Before defecting totally from Verizon, they told me, "Make sure you don't have any voice messages, 'cause you'll lose what's there." I thought, "I don't have any new voice messages on there, 'cause I've been forwarding my number to the iPhone."

I forgot about my saved ones.

When I realized I lost my saved messages (30 minutes after it was too late), I was broken-hearted. I literally grieved for them. Sounds stupid I know, but let me explain what I lost.

I still had the message when Chana called me to tell me Maddie had peed on the potty the first time ever. It was hilarious, and I can still remember Maddies tiny voice telling me what she'd done, and asking for her treat!

I still had the message when Sky called me just to talk. He was 5, and decided he'd call me to chat, for no reason. I love that.

I still had the message from my Dad when he called me with pride in his voice, because he had received the Emmy I shipped to him.

I had many others, some silly, some more of keepsakes than anything else. My great mistake was putting off recording them to my computer over the last couple of years. I thought about it so many times, but never went through with it; and me, a sound guy for a living... sloppy.

The moment I figured out I had lost them, I prayed for God to embed them in my brain. I don't ever want to forget the sound of those voices. My only choice is to learn from this, and realize that there will be countless more beautiful messages from loved ones... messages that I will backup.