was for brothers. was for cousins. was for dads.
So I’m going to stick with the family theme for this letter, too.
is for grandparents. I got to know all four of mine. One is still living and she contributes to “Questions I Asked My Grandmother” episodes. She’s my only grandparent my boys got to meet. DW was very young when hers passed. The boys are lucky enough to have six. Their grandfather, unfortunately, passed in February and is sorely missed. A piece of them was taken, but they all always have their loving memories of him.
They still have two Nanny’s, a Nana, a Pop, and a Pop Pop. DW’s parents divorced long ago and each has a significant other, therefore extra grandparents. Naturally, they love them all dearly. Grandparents are the children spoilers. They can sugar ’em up and then give ’em back. They say yes, when Mom and Dad say no. They are the bringer of treats, hugs, and extra electronics time.
They’ve led lives ahead of ours in which we only know about from the stories we’re told. Times were different when our grandparents were our age. I like to think of them as simpler. No phones to keep charged. No worry about who said what on Facebook. Depending on how old your grandparents are, they may not have had to channel surf looking for something good on TV because there was no TV. There was less processed food. Classrooms had few children, mostly because they were all walking uphill, barefoot through 3 feet snow to get there.
When I was kid of 5 years old, the same age Bang is now, I used to fly from Maryland to Florida as an “unaccompanied minor” to visit my grandparents, aunt, uncle, and cousin for a few weeks. I did that every summer up until my brother was 5 he came with me that year. That was last year we flew to Florida to visit them as our summers became occupied by baseball. That’s also when my grandparents would venture to our house to visit instead. My last trip to Florida was for her funeral. While it was a sad event, I got to see that my cousin and his kid got to spend time with her and that made me happy.
I remember during one trip I was drinking a Coca-Cola. My grandfather told me he used to drive a Coke truck for deliveries. A Coke then cost 5¢. This might explain why I prefer Coke to Pepsi. Thanks Pop Pop.
My dad’s parents were farmers and to this day I love visiting “The Farm”. The wide open space, the dirt road back to the river, the barns and chicken houses and farm machinery… It’s where our family gathered for special occasions like birthdays, Christmas, Easter, 4th of July, Thanksgiving, or just because. There were always laughs, probably a prank to two. My grandmother was one for pranks. Like when she put a fake bird in a tree and told my dad to try to catch it.
Grandparents hold a special place in our kids’ hearts that can’t be filled by anyone or anything else. They’re better than being just parents, hence we call them grand.