Seven years ago today, my grandfather passed away. It was definitely a difficult transition for me, for my family, and truly for the world (as I have heard from literally thousands of people over the past seven years).
However, he lived, contributed, experienced, and learned for nearly 90 years. At 89 he once told me that he was still amazed that he got to do what he loved to do all of his life, even make a living at it along the way.
During his acceptance speech for his Lifetime Achievement Academy Award 13 years ago he quoted Robert Frost in conveying how he felt about his life:
My object in living is to unite
My avocation and my vocation
As my two eyes make one in sight.
I know that he achieved that in his life. Truly a remarkable achievement for anyone and perhaps a goal that more of us (or even all of us) could bring into focus.
I feel so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spend so much time with him. Whether it was with a single person in hallway on one of our trips, at a dinner with friends or family, or in front a group of 500 or 10,000, he mesmerized by giving his full attention to being with that person or those people right then and there. I still meet people consistently who convey the memories of the one time they met Chuck and their special connection with him.
I think what I felt seven years ago was that there was a gaping hole left by him not being in our lives. But as I heard so many wonderful memories from so many people over the following weeks, months, and years, that I truly feel that he continues to live on through our memories, through his films, through his art, and through all that continue to be insprired by his genius.
Just this morning my daughter, Samantha, came into the room and asked, "What ya doin', Doc?" Yes, he lives on.
Now or sometime in the future I would enjoy hearing any of your favorite memories of Chuck, his films, or inspirations you may have attained from him or his work.
Happy memories to all of you!