Thursday, May 28, 2009

Death and Advertising

There is much demise in the industry.

Some might say even more so, blame the economy huh?

I've ridden this out with fake empathy and naive awe. It's the combination of youth, enthusiasm and a quote from Steve Jobs reminding me to stay foolish and hungry.

But recently things have become more stark in their appearance.

My grandmother passed away last night at 2am and it is one of my biggest regrets not to have spent more time with her. This is a common lament from persons whom relatives have passed away, but at the risk of sounding self important, I must at least say the effect is magnified for those who work in advertising. It is simply the nature of the beast, but I can't help but feel an immense guilt that I must confess to.

My grandmother had a stroke a few months ago, which she was slowly recovering from. I told myself that I would visit her more often, and also document her life. My grandma is one amazing lady, raising 6 kids in the toughest of times and being the picture of vibrance and optimism throughout it all. I really wanted to document all of that, for her, myself and everyone else.

I remember her watching me spread butter on a bun and asking me if I liked butter. It was an odd question and I replied, "I suppose I do, grandma. Bread's just bread without it." And she told me, "Well I love butter".

I must have looked puzzled as she continued to explain, "In the war, we couldn't get butter. Once in awhile we would get a little with the rationed supplies. But not often. When the war ended, it was a lot easier to come by and I ate butter all the time! I love butter".

And I thought to myself, "Wow, my grandma really likes butter."

It's stories like those I wanted to put on paper. And now I can't. Because I was at TV shoots, recordings and stuck in the office 3 weekends out of every 4. And when I wasn't, I was a bastard and told myself I needed time off to rest instead of seeing her for maybe even an hour.

I'm still dealing with it.

But here's to the lady that would give my friends and beers whenever we visited, who gave my friends money just because they drove me to see her, who told me every single time I saw her that one day she would win the lottery* and give me so much money I need not worry, who always told me she loved me.

In hindsight, I may not know my grandma from before, but at least I've known her all my life.

I love you grandma.

*This was hilarious because she is a devout Catholic and never gambled. It just made me smile every time she said it.