Monday, October 8, 2012

Thinking About Our Legacies

This is the only picture I own with both Gramps
and me in it.  Back row from left: Nana,
Gramps, me (under a hefty chunk of bangs).
Bottom row from left: my sisters Maureen
and Karen, both also sporting copious
amounts of bangs.  Obviously, Izod shirts
were the rage at the time.
I read a very touching post recently at Stowed Stuff entitled What Grandfathers Do Best. The writing is fabulous and really takes you back to a time and a place where your Nana and Gramps, Mimi and Papa, Oma and Opa, or Gramma and Grampapa are always there for you, ready and waiting for your visit and praising your every achievement.  Grandparents have a way of conspiring with their grandkids, and of course all children respond to that.  Grandparents are adults that don't have rules, and they even break some!  But more than that lovely, warm remembrance of a special kind of love, the specific subject of the post got to me: Gramps.  See, Annie Stow is my cousin, and her Gramps was my Gramps, and he was loveable, happy and fun! 

I was blessed that I knew all of my grandparents, and I loved them all, but Gramps was more than a grandparent, he was a friend, and the best kind of friend.  He was the type of friend that assured you that you were fabulous (actually, the words he would have used was "ultra, ultra, ultra") the way you were; the kind of person who helped you out of jams and didn't judge you, and never told your parents.  He helped my cousin and I get burrs out of hair, and he got the grass stains out of my pants without my mother knowing that I had stained my knees yet again.  Those were the only two times I really needed his help, since I was an absolute angel, but my cousins could tell you stories!  And he was the type of BFF that was always at the ready with something fun!  He would spend his time of our visits downstairs in his basement with the kids, playing his reel-to-reel tapes and getting out his giant newspaper roll (he was a pressman) for us to draw on.  He went around round-abouts as many times as you wanted with no regard for the time or the destination (or, as I now realize, the stress and potential danger of driving in a round-about in the Boston area!).  You really could not ask for more from any one else in your life.

My father is now the Gramps
to my daughter
Annie's post, besides making me a teary, sobbing mess, made me reexamine what I want my own daughter to remember about me.  I hope she'll reminisce about her fun and young-at-heart mother, and that she holds me, as I hold my Gramps, dear.  I wish that she grows up with the security of knowing that I will always be there for her, always loving her, as I knew that Gramps did me.  And I hope that when I'm gone, that she will cry for a bit, but that she will then use me as an example of how a life should be lived, as I look back on my Gramps and the wonderful part of his life that I was privileged enough to share.


  1. LOVE THIS!! Thanks for the link, too. You are an amazing mom and Laura is an amazing kid. ULTRA!



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