Monday, December 14, 2009


New Fish has been sleeping in my baby cradle for the past few months. My great grandfather B made it for me when I was born. Between the cradle and using a blanket my great grandma T made me for New Fish's blessing I've been thinking a lot about the memories I have of my great grandparents. I had three great grandparents until I was 8 and then they all passed pretty closely together.

My Great Grandpa B was a world war 1 veteran. They interviewed him on television once when I was little and I was so proud. My favorite memories of him include trying to stand just far enough away from his big arm chair to stay out of his reach but he'd always grab me anyway and hug me so hard I swear my ribs all touched in the front. He always insisted that my piggy bank was hungry and he would give me coins to feed it out his brown coin purse. I have the piggy bank he gave me on a shelf in Red Fish's room. He had this paperweight with a flower in the center of it on his piano when I was growing up that I thought was the most beautiful thing in the world. It sat next to a dried fish. The fish was scary. I have the paperweight in a keepsake box. He used to go see the lights downtown with us when I was really little and we'd push him around in his wheel chair. He'd have a big Christmas party every year and when I think about what the Christmas season should feel like I think of that party. Tons of family stuffed in a house singing around the piano. I remember going to his garden when I was really little and eating tomatoes (which i still hate) because he told me he would cry if I didn't like his tomatoes. He had a rock polisher and he let me polish the ugliest rocks with it and made them seem like gems. I have a very clear memory of my eighth birthday and Grandpa B (who was 95 at the time) took me on his lap and told me that he wanted me to remember talking to him that day for the rest of my life because he wasn't going to be around forever. I don't totally remember exactly what he told me other than he bore his testimony to me but I do remember feeling very loved.

My great grandpa T was a quiet man. I don't remember him talking very much. He'd always have someone take me out to see his horses. He had two big jars of mints next to his chair. One was full of pink mints and one full of white. I went a few times on the trip down South with my grandparents to visit my grandma and grandpa T. I always felt special like it was such a "big kid" thing to do. They had pink flamingoes in their yard year round and a wooden rudolph reindeer in their living room. There were a lot of doilies. My great grandpa T was the grand marshall of the 4th of July parade one year and I remember going to see him. I ate so much candy I threw up the whole drive home. Grandma T made my Bockum drive down to see her shortly before she died just so he would bring me a porcelain doll she wanted me to have. It means the world to me. I wrote a poem about my Grandpa after he passed about how sad I was that he had gone to heaven and I read it to Great Grandma T. I remember her wrapping her arms around me and telling me how much she loved me. When I got married my Bockum had a special doily that my great grandma had crocheted and asked him to save for my wedding day. She passed away 13 years before I got married.

These are random memories but I feel so lucky to have had so many grandparents in my life. I really hope my girls get the chance to know their great grandparents as well as I knew three of mine. They are so lucky to have so many people who love them.


Linnea said...

What great memories!

The Clem Family said...

I had four great-grandparents living when I was growing up! The first one passed when I was 11 years-old and the last one passed when I was 24 years-old! I have great memories of each and every one of them and I will cherish those forever!!!

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