A-to-Z Challenge Day Seven: Grandparents
This post is coming late because today is my grandmother Margarita’s birthday. Like me, she doesn’t like big to-dos and would rather have a relaxed celebration with a few close people. I actually feel I take after her a lot and that’s actually something that makes me proud. She’s a strong, resolute woman who cares for her family.
And this gets me thinking about what my grandparents mean to me. Certainly they nurtured me and gave me much, and I appreciate everything they do for me and have done for me. I love them with all of my heart and it’s hard to think of one thing to really focus on with this post.
I could talk about how all four of my grandparents contributed something to who I am, and made me, me. I have good memories of my grandpa Don, a farmer and mechanical wizard by nature. I don’t have so many good memories of getting up at the crack of dawn to go out into the fields when autumn rolled around. But sometimes I appreciate the experiences.
I grew close to my grandmother Janet before she died a few years ago in a car accident. It’s still hard to write about this because it was so sudden. I remember when I was told about the accident. I left work early (I was a park ranger at the time) and rode to the hospital with my mother. I remember sitting in the waiting room with my uncles while we were waiting for news. I think we all suspected the worst, which was why we were telling jokes and my conservative uncles were teasing me.
Sometimes the thing that sticks out the most about what happened after that is silly. It’s a clock. My grandmother was wrapped in a blanket on a metal table. An intubation apperatus was jutting from her mouth and bits of gravel were imbedded in her face, stuck there from the impact after she was ejected from the car. My father was talking to her and sobbing–and that memory is heartbreaking for me. But that clock…it was stuck on 9:38:43. It ticked between 43 seconds and 44 seconds, as if time had stopped.
But what I like to remember is that she and I talked about Harry Potter and looked forward to the new movies coming out. And this is what I remember most about all of my grandparents: the stories.
I think all of the stories that I heard from them fueled my love for all stories. My grandfather Ramon could talk your ear off about, well, anything. And I really appreciate that sometimes. He has stories about serving in the army, about his father getting his American citizenship in Italy after he was wounded in World War 2. He has hilarious stories of his youthful antics that I hope someday to turn into stories.
And I’m realizing as time continues its inevitable forward march that soon all I’ll have of them are the memories and the stories. That makes me sad, but it also makes me a little happy. They gave me them, and they nurtured my curiosity of history and their experiences growing up in a world I’ve only ever seen in documentaries. They gave me the thirst for knowledge and understanding, and instilled me with ethics and morals like honesty. I’ll always carry a part of them with me, even after they’re gone.
For that I am eternally grateful.