After taking off most of July and August from blogging, it is time to get back at it. I'll start back up with this post and will make it a fairly short one. As a fairly new grandparent (3 grand daughters age 4 and twin 20 month old), I want to leave some great memories with them and stories they can share with their kids and grandkids about Nana and Pawpaw. I cherish our current relationships with them that makes them light up and get excited when they see us. I cherish them running into our arms for hugs and to sitting in our laps. This makes me think about my own memories of my grandparents.
I never knew my mother's dad. He was killed by his own daughter, my aunt, before I knew him. I did know my mother's mother fairly well. For those who remember from a previous post, this is Little Grandma to me. I remember her as a petite and spunky grandma. She lived with one of my aunts and in an apartment the entire time I knew her. She had enough money to get by, but not a lot of money for extras. Yet, one of my memories of her is that she always sent a birthday card with a $5 bill inside. We lived about 3 hours from her and saw her a few times a year, but you could always count on getting a birthday card with that $5 bill in it.
On my dad's side, I remember my grandma, Big Grandma, for her cooking and quilting. She made some of the most beautiful quilts, a couple of them I have today. I wrote about her quilts in one post on this blog a while back. She was always happy and generous and always pleased to see us come through the door. She also lived about 3 hours away, but moved next door in my teen years when my granddad had a heart attack. My granddad was a small, thinner man who seemed to be more grumpy and stern than anything else. He had a small piece of land and grew many different types of things including blackberries and potatoes. Some of my memories include helping pick a few berries and digging a few potatoes. I also remember working for him for a few days, for a few dollars, when he moved next door and got to feeling better after his heart issues. He paid me to help take nails out of old boards and then he built a picket fence out of them. I helped paint that fence and felt a little like Tom Sawyer at the time while painting this white picket fence. It was a time that I felt about as close as I ever was to him. He was not the type of granddad that you ran to and gave a hug, at least in my dealing with him.
I don't have a ton of memories from my grandparents and they have long passed away. If they were around now, I think I would inquire more into their history and the history of their parents and grandparents. My wife does family history research and it seems you can find a lot of info on births, deaths, marriages and info from and old census documents. But, you would be hard pressed to find actual details and facts about those same people.
I hope my grand children remember me as a fun and happy Pawpaw and not as a grumpy and stern man as I remember my granddad. I hope they will have fond memories of visits to our house for celebrations and parties with the whole family. We can only strive to create such memories during our short time on earth. Our family has a cruise scheduled in October of this year and it will be our second "family" cruise. Hopefully, these family times will create some great memories for everyone and someday the grand kids will say "Remember how much fun we had on the family cruises?".
If you are a grandparent, do you have similar thoughts about leaving your family with great memories? What memories stick out in your mind of your own grandparents? Were your grandparents active in your life, or were they distant? Does your family have a regular get together such as Sunday dinners, yearly reunions or yearly trips that are a tradition in your family? If you are a grandparent, how are you different that your grandparents?
Families are so important to our well being, so make that extra effort to keep them connected as much as possible.