Tuesday, December 06, 2011
#31DDD Day 3:
Tell Me About Your Grandfather
The worst part about what I am about to write is the use of the past tense. The best part is that I have three wonderful people I have been lucky enough to call Grandfather.
What I love about grandparents, besides their incredible love, is the names children make up to call them. I remember nine years ago when my aunt was about to become a first time grandmother and was trying to decide what name she wanted to be called. Mamere was her top choice and while I laughed at the thought of a baby using this French title, it also made me smile to think of a new set of grandchildren growing up with their own special grandparent.
My dad’s dad was always Grandpap to us. He lived in Pennsylvania and I have such great memories of our visits up there. He passed away when I was only 11 so to have such a rich and clear memory of him is something I cherish. He was also the only living member from my dad’s side of the family. My dad’s mother and brother died when he was pretty young, so Grandpap was it. Visiting him was special and my brother and sister and I always loved to go up there. We always ate at a truck stop restaurant my grandpap loved and we would stay in the guest bedroom in the basement. I remember watching a lot of Benny Hill and seeing those DVDs still reminds me of my grandfather.
My “extra” grandfather is Bob. My half brother (only in genetics!) started calling his dad’s dad Bob when he was little and it stuck. Bob was really cool and he always treated my sister and I like his own grandchildren. My best memory of Bob is when my family would go on vacation to Ocean City, MD and he would make us brunch when we first got there. They had a condo for years and it was one of my favorite places until they sold it about 10 years ago. We would get there at about 11am and Bob would be cooking up a storm. He would send my siblings and I out to the balcony with a bowl of steamed shrimp to work on as we waited for everything to be ready. He would make his special eggs, bacon, sausage, cantaloupe, fried potatoes and anything else you could imagine. It was so delicious and the perfect way to begin a week at the beach.
The grandfather I spent the most time with was my mom’s dad, Granddad. He passed away just a few years ago and it was one of the toughest things to go through. He had always been the rock of the family. Never ill, always there, and he just kept on truckin’. My grandmother was the one who had back problems, diabetes, and even a stroke about five years ago. I don’t think anyone thought that my grandfather would be the first to pass away. He was there for Thanksgiving and then started to feel ill. That was the year my brother got married on New Years Eve and I think he held on until after that. I will never forget visiting him in the hospital and seeing how small he looked. He said, ‘I’m not doing too well, honey.” And I told him I loved him and that was that last time I saw him.
Granddad was awesome, though. We called him “The Godfather” because he would take the whole family (10+ people sometimes) out to dinner, sit at the head of the table and just let everybody get whatever they wanted. He was incredibly generous and part of that came from the success he made for himself. He came back from World War II after being a paratrooper (because it paid more) and started his own business that is still running today.
It makes me sad that I only have memories of my grandfathers left, but I also feel so fortunate to have had three. They all made me who I am today.
+ Title from Beck