Reflecting on the "I"

It must be the human condition - to look at the sky and ponder - what am I? Who am I? Why am I?

This is one of those times for me.

This week, my family will come together and collectively celebrate the life of my patrilineal grandfather, Dr. Bill Alexander and hopefully bring some closure for those of us left behind.

When pondering these questions, I often refer back to those individuals who had the greatest formative impact on my personality and being. My grandfather - along-side his tangent offspring, my father - is one of the most seminal people in my creation of self.

A walk around his "smoke house" yields so many clues to the character and personality of a man who I will so miss - that pungent aroma of pipe-smoke still pervasive in every scrap of fabric.

His extensive book collection stands in-situ, as a testament to who he was and what his passions were.

From the oft overdone Clancy novels to the works of Darwin - a host of quotes scribbled almost illegibly on the wall ranging in references from John Wayne to Plato - he was certainly a Renaissance man.

In my youth, I spent a great deal of time at his property on Back to Sodom Road and it is this property that best stands to reflect his passions, desires and beliefs - many of which still live on through my father, brother and I.

He had an almost obsessive desire to attain an IV League education and with five children and another on the way he accomplished this goal thanks to shear fortitude and the undeniable adaptability of my grandmother, Roxanne.

Who would want to spend several years in a Manhattan closet-sized apartment with five kids - stacked in bunk beds?

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