Friday, October 17, 2008

How GREAT Grandparents Are!

This past Monday, October 13, was my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday, "Daddy Nick!" My grandparents came from Jackson, TN to visit and celebrate with a birthday lunch at my mom and dad's house. The children and I joined in the celebration, of course. My grandfather is 87 and my grandmother will be 84 next week. They still live in the only home I have ever known them to live in, drive themselves everywhere they need to go, and function without much help from my dad and his siblings. I have been privileged to have known all four of my grandparents, and they are all very special to me!

But something even more special is that they have all held my children in their arms!
I will try to always hold on to the pictures of them holding my children, their great-grandchildren, because I enjoy so much seeing the pictures of my paternal great-grandparents holding me and my brother. The only one of my mother's grandparents that was still living when I was born was my mother's maternal grandmother, Virginia Mary Warren Davie or"Me-Momma," She didn't live long after I was born, so I have no memory of her. Only a picture or two of her holding me as a baby. However, she did live to be 94 years old! (I'm hoping I will be be blessed with such longevity of life.) :-)
But my father's grandparents ALL lived to be at least 90 years old. My memories of them vividly appear in my mind. I remember their houses on quaint little streets in Jackson, TN. I remember the nice, neat little bun Great-grandmother Phillips always had her hair fixed in. We share the same birthday, so I remember her especially on Sept. 4th. We even blew a few candles out together before her passing. She was a little bitty woman, but I remember her voice and how it seemed just a little bit fiesty for someone so small in stature.

I remember Great-grandfather Phillips and despite the fact that he could not see me, I can still see his glasses on his face and him sitting in his chair beside the fireplace in their home. In my mind there are clear pictures of my Great-grandmother Wamble and the candy dish on her coffee table filled with my favorite and hers...butterscotch discs! I can see her walking through the kitchen with her limp from the polio she suffered from as a child. And I can picture in my mind the large hands of my Great-grandfather Wamble. The many years of working with the railroad company had taken its toll on his hands. I remember the look of them as he drank the tea from his glass. I remember his hair and dark-rimmed glasses and his fancy for watching wrestling on TV.

I am glad to have such memories and I can only hope that one day my children will look back on their childhoods and remember and appreciate what they knew about their grandparents and great-grandparents. I'll close with this one thought that came to me as I was about to go to sleep last night...It's funny to me how I can remember so much more about their lives and as much as I try, I cannot seem to remember much about their funerals or burials when their lives ended. The only memory I can find is one of my father singing his Grandmother Phillips's favorite hymn at her funeral. And then I thought...that's how it should be! Remember their lives and not their deaths. And in doing that you give them life forever in your mind and heart.

1 comment:

kate said...

that was a great post. It's so special that you have those memories. The boys (and MC) will appreciate this one day.