Tuesday, April 10, 2012

STUG Moments

Last week I was watching Live with Kelly as I put my makeup on for the day. (I started writing about it then but was interrupted by the ending of an adorable one-year-old’s nap.) As it turned out, this was not a great moment for putting on eye make-up because I found myself in a puddle of tears. I had what my pastor calls a STUG moment; STUG being an acronym for Sudden Temporary Upsurge of Grief. It seems this morning’s STUG moment was in memory of my Grandfather Gall – I called him PomPaw.

Why, you might be wondering, would an episode of Live with Kelly bring me to tears? Well, let me go back a bit and explain. Perhaps it’ll give you some insight into the workings of a woman’s brain – or at least mine. When I was a little girl Pom Paw regularly told me the story of the time he took me up the mountain in a gondola. I’d been very excited about this adventure with my grandfather because he’d proclaimed that we’d “go up to the sky.” It seems though, that as our gondola inched its way up the side of the mountain I changed my mind regarding just how fun this event would be and started crying, “Pom Paw, I don’t want to go to the sky!”

Fast forward about forty years to the day I stood in line with my husband, John, and my son, Scott at the Banff Gondola. Though I don’t remember the actual “going to the sky” incident with my grandfather, I’d heard the story so many times that I can rarely go on a gondola without thinking of him. So, there I was in line with every other tourist in Banff, Canada and my mind flashes back to Pom Paw’s retelling of the gondola story, leaving me sobbing for no apparent reason. Poor John just stood there befuddled by my sudden melt down.

Last week, Live with Kelly, was filmed in, you guessed it, Banff, Canada. In a period of about 2.3 seconds my brain processed like this:

Kelly’s in Banff talking about skiing.

Skiing in Banff usually requires a gondola ride up the mountain.

The Banff gondola is where I remembered my grandpa’s story eight years ago.

Oh, I still miss my Pom Paw.

And BAM, a STUG moment is born, eliminating any hope of getting on my eye make for another ten minutes.

STUG moments usually don’t last long but they sure do sneak up on a person. So, if you find yourself in a teary mess someday, seemingly out of nowhere, just know you aren’t alone. We all have STUG moments. Lots of times, it’s the happiest of memories that lead to the saddest of moments. Still, I wouldn’t give up those happy memories for anything in the world.


Julie said...

Thanks for sharing. Moments like these are what completes me. Making the best of memories with our loved ones. FYI, your story made me cry. My thought process went like this. Your grandpa made me think of mine. He's been gone 21 yrs now. I miss him so. The special memories of him teaching me to drive his tractor, taking us to town for ice cream, and then the dime store for all the penny candy we could fit in a paper sack (yes those were the good ol days!), watching Young and the Restless with him (that was his show), sitting on his lap and playing with his hair, and he would name his cows after us grand kids. Best memories ever! I guess Nancy, we do have random thought patters - but that's what makes us US. Truthfully, I haven't thought about my grandpa for a long time, but your blog spurred on my own STUG moment. Thanks! Love you!

[not the] Best Blog Ever said...

At age 35, I am super-blessed to have all four of my grandparents still living (comes with the territory of being the eldest child of two eldest children!). I can't imagine having any of them out of my life, but - unless the Lord takes us all home soon - I'm sure it's inevitable...

Thanks for sharing your story.