Month: October 2015

Vitauts Take 12: Hanover

Vitauts Take 12: Hanover

Dad’s memory may be fading as he turns 88 in just a week, but some of his memories come back like¬†lightning flashing. Some flashes are far away, on the horizon, barely noticeable, but some strike furiously and seem to jolt him from the present to the past and back again. The other day, he was …

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Vitauts Take 11: What’s in a Name?

Vitauts Take 11: What’s in a Name?

A friend of mine came over this weekend, and he tried to talk to my father, but he didn’t know how to say his name. There was an awkward exchange where he asked dad, and then me, “What is your name again?” I think dad has gone through this same experience most of his life. …

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Vitauts Take 10: Going to Church

Vitauts Take 10: Going to Church

Vitauts Grinvalds has been going to church for a long time. As a young man, he went to church in Latvia, then, when he came to the United States, he continued going as a congregant until he became a pastor. Then it was church every Sunday for a long, long time. Duty called! Saturday nights …

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Vitauts Take 9: Solitaire

Vitauts Take 9: Solitaire

Vitauts has always been a card player. When I was growing up, I could count on one inevitable thing: at each and every family gathering, a card game would break out, and dad would be involved. But the image I have of him that is even more prominent than the many basement tables with poker …

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Vitauts Take 8: Retirement

Vitauts Take 8: Retirement

Vitauts was a pastor for a long time. It was the life he knew and his identity for over fifty years. During that time, he was a respected figure of five communities and congregations. They referred to him as “pastor” because they couldn’t say his first or last name. And then, on November 2, 2014 …

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Vitauts Take 7: Dad’s Swollen Foot

Vitauts Take 7: Dad’s Swollen Foot

Today, September 29th, 2015, I took dad to the doctor. He hurt his foot last weekend, or at least he thought he did. On Monday he told me that he would like to go to the doctor because he hurt his foot. I suggested that we wait to see if it gets better. I figure …

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Vitauts Take 6: A Little Background

Vitauts Take 6: A Little Background

I have told the story so many times that it has become almost a litany. Dad was born in or around Smiltene, Latvia on November 1, 1927. Almost 88 years ago. I told him that today, and he couldn’t believe he has lived this long. He tried to remember how old his sister was when …

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Vitauts and the Flat Tire (Take 5)

Vitauts and the Flat Tire (Take 5)

My dad moved in with me two years after Liesma died. We had to clean out the parsonage, but that’s another story. He has been driving the same 1993 Maroon Mercury Grand Marquis for about twenty years, and at 231,000 miles, it’s doing pretty well for its age. I could say the same about Vitauts. …

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Vitauts Take 4 (Liesma)

Vitauts Take 4 (Liesma)

All of my life, I had seen my mother, Liesma and my father fighting and arguing. I recall one very poignant and powerful moment when dad had missed getting me to a doctor’s appointment and my mom just opened up a can of Latvian woman whoop ass on him in the car. What started out …

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