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The Great Benny

Carla Joelle Brown Benjamin

A funny for Sunday: Last weekend, we celebrated my grandfather’s 91st birthday (Benjamin Graham- the subject of the documentary). It was not lost on me that this is the second birthday he has celebrated without my grandmother. It is one of those things that go unsaid, but we all feel it. Even being in the space without her is still hard. Because of this, I thought it would be nice to add some levity to a celebration that remains bittersweet. Since I have had numerous one-on-one conversations with him, a lot of anecdotes about his life have come to my knowledge. One in particular has stuck with me recently. He has mentioned that he has never been able to grow facial hair, not even a slight mustache. His shaving schedule (or lack there of) has been part of his roster of jokes. For some reason, perhaps because I am a visual person, I couldn’t get it out of my head, what he would look like with a ridiculous beard and mustache. I decided that this would be a perfect gift for that person that had it all; the one thing that he never had. I scrounged the internet and selected a huge beard, and mustache and was happy to see that it could be delivered in time.

We had dinner, sang Happy Birthday (my sister and I even got a chance to sing our rendition of “For He’s a Groovy Dude,” for you Good Times fans), ate some cake and I presented the gift of all gifts. I was so excited, but I wasn’t sure if he would actually put it on. And he did. He is such a good sport. I have been amazed by how opened he has been with me. I appreciate him greatly for this and all that he has given, and what he has been willing to do and share on this journey.

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