Families logo

Remembering Again

It has taken ten years for Poppop to remember my name again

By Sone KramerPublished about a year ago 4 min read
Top Story - July 2022
March 1952, CT

It has taken ten years for Poppop to remember my name again.

We are sitting at a table outside under string lights and stars. He is wearing a blue sweater vest and his head is still bald. I cry as he marvels at my tattoos. He tells me he would like to get some. How outlandish! How hip! He doesn't ask me why I’m crying, and I don’t register the tears until I wake up.

I would like to share the story of my poppop and our relationship. This is what I remember: newspaper on the porch; bowling balls in the attic; a plaid hat on his shiny head; “you can pull my hair if I can pull yours;” huckleberries in a paper cup. To him, my name is “You,” and I must be someone—maybe the child of the woman who calls him “Dad.”

I imagine what it is like to live in a memory fog—a cloud of love and support without reason to back it up. He wakes up next to a woman he cares for deeply, walks onto the porch of an old pond house, looks over the water, points out the colors of the birds, and reads the paper. Over the years, his job reduces to Wine Server at the dinner table, and he asks every few minutes, “Who wants more wine?” He walks around the porch, a bottle in each hand, and doesn’t skip over us kids. My grandmother tells us stories of the past: how they met, where they traveled and worked, different ways of celebrating Jewish traditions, and she asks if he remembers. He tries to stay calm. He smiles. He looks at his hands. Quietly, he says, “Yes.”

Even as he forgets our names, he plays Gin Rummy with my mother for hours, and always wins. He’s a brilliant man, he’s a card-counter, he memorizes the discard deck and adds the numbers up wicked fast. He says, “Good mornin’ Turkey, how’d you sleep?” when I walk down the stairs, and if I say, “hey,” he bellows, “hay is for horses!” Every once in a while, he will come up to our bedrooms with a can and say, “I’m takin’ out the trash, you wanna jump in?”

As the years progress, he spends the daylight in the huckleberry bushes, picking tiny, blue berries and collecting them in paper cups. His impatience does not wait for them to ripen. He starts to collect the green ones—hard and not yet sweetened with time—he is slowly growing older and shrinking into a young child.

I watch my grandmother turn into a mother and see what she modeled for my own mom: patience and love, unconditional, even when the love of her life starts to decline. His sneezes stay bellowed, and he loves his wine. He grows older and ages into a small child.

And then it just becomes a matter of time. His spirit waits until we are ready to let him move on. It is late June 2021, and I stand in a creek, shirtless and unmoving, looking closely at a giant branch arching over the water like a gate. The tree seems to speak to me, they ask if I want to be friends. I stretch my arms to the side and channel the energy of moving water. Life swirls in my chest. I open my heart and direct my love toward the branch.

After the sun begins to set, my friend tells me it is time to go. As I turn away, the branch makes a loud snapping noise. I jump backwards. “Please don’t go! Please don’t go!” I hear them call. I want to stay with them forever, but eventually, I go.

The next day when I returned, the branch was submerged into the water, snapped at the base of the tree. “Something in your life needed to let go, to be released,” a stranger said to me. My mother called later that week. It was about Poppop. It was nearing his time.

I met him that night in my dreams. Finally, after ten years, we talked, and he remembered me. It has been a year since then, and he visits me occasionally. We catch up and his memory is sharp. His body is alive and glowing. On the anniversary of his death, my mother and I took out a deck of cards and tried to remember the rules. I felt his spirit standing to her left. He put his hand on her shoulder, and told me to say out loud, “Poppop is here. Today is a day of celebration, not a day of mourning. He is proud of you and grateful to watch us grow through this life with his memory again. And if he were able to play cards with us, he would win.”


About the Creator

Sone Kramer

navigating earth

Reader insights


Excellent work. Looking forward to reading more!

Top insights

  1. Heartfelt and relatable

    The story invoked strong personal emotions

  2. Compelling and original writing

    Creative use of language & vocab

  3. Excellent storytelling

    Original narrative & well developed characters

  1. Easy to read and follow

    Well-structured & engaging content

  2. On-point and relevant

    Writing reflected the title & theme

  3. Expert insights and opinions

    Arguments were carefully researched and presented

  4. Eye opening

    Niche topic & fresh perspectives

  5. Masterful proofreading

    Zero grammar & spelling mistakes

Add your insights

Comments (6)

Sign in to comment
  • Kendall Defoe about a year ago

    Very beautiful piece. Thank you for opening up on this page.

  • Kelli Sheckler-Amsdenabout a year ago

    Very sweet. It’s hard to watch someone you love becoming someone else because of a disease. Thank you for sharing your experience

  • Muhammad Huzaifa Rasheedabout a year ago

    hmm nice

  • Luisa Gilliesabout a year ago


  • Jamie Bushehriabout a year ago

    I thought this was beautifully written. You captured Pop Pop so well.

Find us on social media

Miscellaneous links

  • Explore
  • Contact
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Support

© 2023 Creatd, Inc. All Rights Reserved.