Friday, May 18, 2012

Grandparent Parade

This weekend I am going to visit my grandparents with my folks and my son.  That means Baby Boy will be surrounded by not only his maternal grandparents, but also his great-grandparents.  It will be a "Grandparent Parade" as we trek to breakfast with my mother's parents then head over to my father's parents in the afternoon.  Are you keeping up with that???

I started to think about how important it is to me that my son spends time with all of his grandparents.  I have such fond memories of spending time with mine and I look forward to memories being made for him.  Like my son, I was lucky enough to know my great-grandparents... 

I spent the most time getting to know my great-grandfather, Loye (my paternal grandma's dad) and my great-grandmother, Pearl (my paternal grandpa's mom).  You still with me?!?  Loye was a great big man with a great big heart.  He had a flat-top haircut, wore red suspenders and had tattoos on his arms.  He told the best stories but no one ever knew how true they really were.  He ate bacon and eggs every day for breakfast and he looooved his Jack Daniels!  My dad and grandpa Loye had a very special relationship and I even think they look a lot alike.  He passed away when I was in college but I always remember the sound of his grizzly voice, the tree he named after my brother and his beloved beagles buried in his back yard.

My great-grandma, Pearl, is probably one of my favorite people.  She was a no nonsense kind of lady that had no time for frivolous girlish behavior.  In fact, when I was going through one of my "down times" in college I found myself in a low spot and in need of some coddling from my dear grandmother, Pearl.  Instead I was told to, "STOP CRYING THIS INSTANT!!"  She instructed me to go grab a pen and paper and to write down the following things:
  1. You are a woman.
  2. You are pragmatic.  (through my tears I bravely asked "w-w-what does pragmatic mean?"  She sharply said, "LOOK IT UP!")
  3. Going to college is a privilege and it enriches your life.
  4. You need to exercise.
  5. Don't eat sandwiches.  Bread is bad for you and makes you fat.
Grandma Pearl also paid for my college.  She once told me that my cousin, "got the looks and you got the brains."  Did I mention she was completely blind or that she really was a charming lady???  Anyway, I loved spending time with her when I would visit Illinois and chatting with her on the phone when we were apart.  She would tell the most interesting stories about life "back in the day" and what it was like going through the depression.  She passed away last year at the age of 96.

There isn't enough time for me to share with you all of the memories I hold of my other grandparents because there are so many.  They are all characters that mean the world to me!  They were there for every dance recital, choir concert, graduation, birthday, etc.  They would come to Grandparents Day at my school and they were always my favorite babysitters.  Now it is my son's turn.  He gets to know my parents and my in-laws in a very special way.  Tomorrow he even gets to spend extra time with his "great's."
(photo credit)
Grandparents are playmates, heroes, and role models.  They are the direct connection to the past.  To the families before us and to the time before us.  They've suffered and they've thrived and their wisdom and love is one of life's most precious gifts.

What are your favorite memories of your grandparents?  Have you enjoyed watching your parents become grandparents?  

1 comment:

  1. Despite of your busy schedule, sparing time to visit your grandparents with your son, means a lot to them. Time is the best thing we can give to our aging grandparents.

    -Demetrius Flenaugh @ HomeCareSugarLand