On Anniversaries

Today was a day of nostalgia.

Ten years ago today, my grandfather passed away.

There are times, when the doors in my mental attic aren’t closed quite right, that I can hear his voice.

There are things I regret. I never had a drink with him. I never asked him about his personal history. I would have liked to hear stories about serving in the Navy during World War II.

He was in the Naval Balloon Corps. He served in the Caribbean. He would have been part of Operation Olympic, the American invasion of the Japanese home islands in late 1945.

I helped take care of him his last week. I stayed with my grandmother for about a month after his passing.

I wrote that summer. Specifically, some Star Trek: Deep Space Nine stories for the Strange New Worlds contest. I wonder if I still have copies somewhere.

I read some, too. Dave Galanter’s Star Trek: Voyager novel, Battlelines, was something I read then, that I needed right then. And Lance Parkin and Mark Clapham’s Beige Planet Mars, too. Two more dissimilar books you won’t find, but they were meaningful to me that May and June.

Today was another anniversary, too. Technically, it was yesterday, but it was commemorated today.

My two-year anniversary at work.

Different companies have different cultures. The culture at my company is this — every morning, Human Resources sends out a company-wide e-mail with a list of the people celebrating anniversaries that day. Some people then send notes of congratulation to their coworkers. I’ve done this; someone I work with regularly hits an anniversary, and I’ll send out a brief note. And last year I received maybe a dozen notes of congratulation for surviving my first year in the corporate salt mines.

I probably received thirty e-mails today. They came from all over, from corporate vice presidents to graphic artists. Not just people in the corporate office, either, but people in satellite offices, too. Even from people I’ve never met. I barely had the time to even look at them today.

It was nice. Some people attached pictures. One had a yin-yang symbol, formed by a dragon no less, which was cool. Another cited Elbow’s The Seldom Seed Kid in his e-mail. Someone else did a banner-like thing, blowing Trebuchet MS (that’s a font, by the way) up to an unreasonable, unreadable point size.

My third year in the comic book industry began today. A mildly stressful day — the computer network was insanely slow — but a good day all the same.

I found myself today thinking back ten years, and I found myself thinking back two years. I really do like my job. My job fits me. Nostalgia came easy today.

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