Family: It Is Too Easy to Take Them for Granted...


My parents are getting older--and I wish my kids had more time with them. That got me thinking how much they missed out on, not knowing MY grandparents. On my dad's side, there are Billie and Howard. He was a lawyer and a judge--and he was such a wonderful storyteller. You could not walk in front of him without getting tickled. He was a wonderful man. My grandma Billie made me laugh all the time. She was sneak up on you funny--dry humor you would not expect. She was an excellent seamstress and business woman. She worked in the bank in Havana, Illinois way back before women really did that. She married the dashing Howard, and had my dad and his younger sister. Grandpa Howard served in WWII--but it took him forever to find an optometrist who would let him in. His eyesight was terrible, and he had to get someone to fudge his records so he could serve. I remember sitting on his lap, in his recliner, and he would tell me stories and funny rhymes and jokes. He always expected a lot of me and instilled the importance of integrity and honesty. It was not surprising that he ended up such a respected judge in the area and would often work the circuit and also serve in Chicago.

Others might say my grandma was cheap, but I say she helped me to understand the awesomeness of a great bargain, and the value of a dollar. She was a coupon clipper--and would take advantage of specials whenever possible. She would rib my grandpa a lot, but it was also clear how much she loved him. She made fudge and divinity all the time, would plate it and sell it at various shows and fairs, and would make lots of money. It was delicious. I was always looking to get the "grubbies" that did not look pretty enough to plate...She had a blue sweatshirt with red bandana applique that said "Foxy Grandma". She was a hoot. Toward the end of her life, she was mostly bedridden and would watch movies and baseball and eat ice cream. :D

Grandma Billie

Photo: Heather White

Grandpa Howard

Photo: Heather White

I often wonder what they would think of my kids and vice versa. What would they think of technology? Would my grandpa like all the fishing apps? Would my grandma like shopping apps? Would they be on Facebook? What would my kids think of them? My kids are on the autism spectrum--something that was not really addressed when my grandparents were younger or when they were raising kids. I wonder how they would react to the diagnosis. The reality is, it is a bummer that we do not have more time with the ones we love. I was reminded of that by a woman called Bonnie. She phoned the show after I talked about trying (and really, failing) to help my mother properly cook a brisket. Bonnie suggested I take pictures of all the steps we do, print them out and number them with written instructions, and send them to my mother. She reminded me that her mother is gone and she would give anything to be able to teach her something like that. Thanks, Bonnie, for the great suggestion, and for the reminder that we do not have forever, and that I should cherish each moment I do have...


Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content