Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Memories Provided by My Grandparents -Part 1

Soon after I received the news last October that I will soon be a grandmother, I was immediately asked, "Mom, what do you want the baby to call you?". I never really gave it much thought but then it began to sink in and I was soon transformed to my childhood experiences with my grandparents.

My dad's parents were not with us long after I was born. Despite their short years on this earth, they made a strong impression on my life. Sadly, I only have one memory from my paternal grandfather. I must have been 4 years old when Grandpa Walter came to visit me. Ah, yeah, he came to see me. I remember him calling me over to sit on his lap in the kitchen. I crawled up on his giant lap and remember getting the best hug that only a grandpa could provide. The one where I was totally enveloped in love and security. His hug seemed to last forever. I remember the way he tickled my chin with his large index finger that made me laugh and scream. Mom served him coffee and he told me to jump down from his lap because he had something for me. He reached into his pocket and to recover a pocket full of change. He picked the biggest coin from his pocket and gave it to me. How I wish I still had that coin in my pocket to remember him by.

My paternal grandmother, Anna, was confined to a wheel chair. During the last years of her life, my mother took care of her. This couldn't have been an easy task because my dad's family were all large people (no wonder why I am the size I am but in comparison, I would be considered tiny as they all weighed in at over 300 pounds) Grandma Anna suffered a series of strokes which impaired her ability to speak, but her mind was still intact.
One day, being the precocious child that I was, my mother was calling my name. "Deborah Teresa what did you do this time? Where are you?" Immediately, I knew I was in deep trouble again. I came running down the hallway into the living room where Grandma Anna was sitting in her wheel chair. I remember this as though it was yesterday. She turned the palm of her hand to the ceiling, curled up all her fingers except her index finger and motioned to me using that finger as if it was calling me. Using her hands she motioned that I get behind her wheel chair. I did as she instructed me. Slowly, she moved the wheel chair until it was against the wall and I was standing between the handles. My mother entered the room ready to spank the living daylights out of me for probably the tenth thing I got into that day when she saw what my Grandmother Anna did to protect me, her anger instantly changed to serenity and a tear came to her eyes. My grandmother took that finger and shook it at my Mom as if to say, "Don't you dare!".
These are two memories that I will have with me for the rest of my life. Even though these two wonderful people were only in my life for a short time, I still think of them often.
Sadly, Grandpa Walter and Grandma Anna weren't around anymore and I missed them terribly.
It's the little things in life that affects a child. Not the fact that you spoiled them with the biggest bike or the grandest doll house. It is the simple things we do for a child that welds into their beings.
God Bless you Grandpa Walter and Grandma Anna! And thanks a million for the wonderous memory I have of you.


Mental P Mama said...

Memories are the glue that holds all our families together. What a sweet story. So what are you going to be called?

Debra (a/k/a Doris, Mimi) said...

Thanks for the lovely story, Deb. I adore the names our grandsons chose for us. Jamie wanted Ayden to call me Grammy but Ayden pronounced it as Mimi. It stuck and I love it! Pete is called Bumpa. It is so sweet to see Bumpa's giant bear paw holding little Ayden's hand. It melts my heart. Don't you love being a grandparent? It's like nothing else in the world! I hope my grandchildren have lovely memories of us like you described. Thanks much for sharing.

Jamie Payne said...

What fabulous memories! I have a very special memory of my grandpa Mac (McLemore was my mom's maiden name) and I'm so grateful for it! I love that Ayden is building so many memories with Mimi & Bumpa. Soon Jameson will be old enough for sleepovers and movie outings as well. My boys are very lucky!!

Heidi Blankenship said...

What Beautiful Memories! I love reading your story. I have some wonderful memories of my grandparents & great grandparents. Did you know that this Sunday is Grandparents Day?
I also wanted to tell you thank you so much for stopping by my blog & your wonderful comments!! You had asked about the JustRite Small Letter Set, it's not hard to work with if you used the tweezers. But you still have to be careful and work over the table because they are so tiny. I also posted more info about the purse on my blog.