Sunday, February 9, 2014

Legacies (R.I.P.)

“If you want me again look for me under your boot soles.”

 - Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

My own (paternal) grandparents on their wedding day in 1960.
My paternal grandmother passed away in 2005, & my grandfather followed in 2010. After both were gone, I found/learned so many new things…their handwritten records from breeding dogs while living in 1960s New York…the awards my grandmother received as a city bus driver in Pennsylvania…the handwritten papers of homework she'd completed for her mail-study engineering degree…her wedding rings missing the center diamond, that was pawned during rough times to help put food on the dinner table...the fact that they'd had to legally divorce in the 90's to get adequate help from the healthcare system (she having had cancer, him having had diabetes)…really, I was in awe.
On occasion, I find myself wishing that I had grown up being closer to family (we moved a lot, rarely nearby). More than that, though, I frequently wish I had had the opportunity to visit with my dads parents more, & that I was closer to my moms parents who live in Texas. I'm frequently frustrated that my relatives who live nearby might that for granted & don't visit them too often.
My maternal grandparents are characters, themselves, (at least I think so)…my grandfather has long been retired from border patrol…& my grandmother, who once owned a bakery, has pretty much dedicated her life to her family. I'm sure there are stories they could tell that I may never hear. And I can appreciate the fact that, once I'm finished typing this post, I'm able to call my grandmother on the phone. Though, I'm not saying she'll answer (as a fairly busy lady), & I won't be able to leave her a message if she doesn't (God love her, she will likely never set up her voicemail).
Long story short…be grateful.
And the next time your grandparents (or other family members) go to tell you a story, just listen.
Even if you have heard it a hundred times.

xxxx Alyssa Marie

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