At the gym, this song came on my Ipod and I chose not to change it. Some would have passed it up for something more upbeat, but I kept it. I was, luckily, at the end of my work out, but I wanted to bask in a moment to remember my loved ones who have passed, especially my grandparents.
My sister and I are lucky little girls (although we are not so little anymore). We grew up with six grandparents. My mom’s parents had remarried before either of us were born. I thought that six grandparents was the norm and could not figure out why other kids only had four.
I want you to remember, no matter what, to love them and hug them. Let them tell you boring stories, ask them questions about their lives, and when they want to spend time with you, do it. You never know when they will be gone. Someone I know is always blowing of his grandparents, and not to sound like a geek, but I could ring his neck, because I’d do anything to spend 1 more day, heck, 1 more hour with each of my grandparents.
Grandpa Harvey: October 10, 1933 – January 14, 2012
Grandpa Harvey is my mom’s dad. I don’t know as much about him as I do my other grandparents, but I can give you some information. He had 3 sisters, and was adopted with one of his sisters as a kid. He grew up in North Dakota, lived on a farm, married my grandma, and then my aunt, mom, and uncle were born. They moved to California and the rest is history.
Grandma “Mo”: September 21, 1921 – June 20, 2011
Grandma Mo, or Eleanor as others would call her, was my dad’s mom. She was a nurse in the army, that’s how she met my grandfather, during World War II. Her and my grandfather were married for 62 years when he died, and they only spent 10 days apart. She tried to teach me how to crochet, she helped foster our imagination, and made the best cookies. No peanut butter or chocolate chip cookies compare to hers.
Grandma Marlene: December 3, 1937 – August 2, 2010
Grandma Marlene is my mom’s step-mom. She married my grandpa Harvey WAY before I was born. Lucky for her (and for me) her children didn’t have children until after my sister and I were born, and I was the first girl. Most of her jewelry, although sometimes cheesy, costume jewelry, was passed to me before she died (by her) and I knew she’d have gems when I went to pick out what was hers that I wanted. I wear a ring that was hers almost everyday. She always bought our Christmas dresses for us and who wouldn’t love a grandma that had to have a second bedroom so she had an extra closet!
Grandpa Gerry: September 23, 1918 – February 25, 2008
Grandpa Gerry is my dad’s dad. I can’t tell you the number of life lessons he taught us. He was in the army, during World War II. As you may recall, he met my grandma after he was injured. He fostered a love of tomatoes and ketchup in his granddaughters (lucky man, only had granddaughters). I’m sure for my dad and aunt and uncle it was a different story, but when things went wrong or when you did something wrong, it was always advice. Not a scolding, but help for making things better next time. His words of wisdom, helped with some of my weakest moments in life.
Grandpa Fred: March 21, 1930 – March 16, 2007
Grandpa Fred was my mom’s step-dad. He was a Coquille Indian, and said he fought a grizzly bear. I have no proof, but it makes for a great story. He was an outdoorsman, loved camping, loved his grandchildren, and his dogs. Abbey and Dillon were his pride and joy, especially after my grandma died. When Abbey died his heart probably broke in two. His stories were always far fetched and outlandish, but you never knew if they were true or not.
Grandma Pat: May 16, 1933 – April 23, 1999
Grandma Pat. The one we lost way too soon and without warning. The one I couldn’t say goodbye to. My mom’s mom. The one that I miss the most. The one that my heart still breaks thinking about. All that she missed. I can remember the last few conversations she and I had. I can remember the gut wrenching feeling when my dad told me she had died. The pastor at the church where I got confirmed said that I was the cookie cutter version of my mom and my grandma. I’m sure she would have never admitted it, but I was her favorite.
I can’t find the video, but I remember a commercial where a grandchild was supposed to pick up, or go see their grandmother, and they didn’t because they were doing drugs. I’ve ALWAYS every time I’ve seen been angry and upset. Especially since it came out not long after my grandma Pat died. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes.
So, remember to love your grandparents, no matter what. No matter how crazy they drive you, no matter how busy you are, and no matter how much you don’t want to. Spend time with them, as much as you can. Remember, some of us don’t have that time anymore.
And because I’m not always sad, mostly just nostalgic, I’ve been digging this song, a lot: