Sunday, March 27, 2005

My grandmother....

Well both of them actually, both gone now and truly missed. They were as different as two people could possibly be, yet alike in their limitless love for us 'grandkids'...

I think of them often, the things I learned from them, like never be afraid to give of yourself (My Dad's Mom), how to enjoy a good football game (my Mom's Mom) and from both how to take joy in life's little pleasures.

My Mom is 100% Irish, and her Mom was 150% Irish and fit nearly every stereotype about stubborn and hard headed as she remains the most opinionated person I've every known. But, inside her was a warm, gentle woman who knew fresh baked cookies and cold milk were payment enough for a lawn well mowed! I still chuckle at the memory of her and I watching Notre Dame football (especially where they played any Protestant school) and how every bad call was the result of a Protestant ref, every good call was a good Catholic ref, often subsequent calls by the same ref!! She lived a long life, in her 90's when she died.

My Dad's Mom... well she'd been through a lot. She was the daughter of a Brewmaster who emmigrated to America shortly before prohibition... Obviously once that law was in place his job prospects narrowed considerably. They did what many others of the time did, found ways to continue with the family business... I remember her telling me tales of driving a truck to Canada as a young girl, a thin envelope for the crossing into Canada, a thick one for the return trip. I also remember the family 'reunions'... held at a facility owned by one of her family where all the kids, grandkids, cousins and often their friends would show up one Sunday and we'd eat, drink, play cards, softball... and in general have a grand time. I miss those as well, somehow the elders kept it all together, us kids have not hung in there the way they all did.

At one time or another, both sets of Grandparents lived with my parents as they became unable to fend for themselves, my Dad's mother lived her last days with his Sister (as my Dad preceeded his Mom to the hereafter)... I wonder sometimes... will this new generation care for their parents the way ours did? Will we? I don't know... I do know I will always treasure the life lessons my parents, and grandparents, gave to us. Not through long lengthy lectures, or do as I say, not as I do teachings... but rather through the way they all lived their lives!

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