Monday, March 25, 2013

making memories

My great aunt Claire passed away early last week. She was the last living member of her generation on my mom's side of the family.

I miss my grandparents a lot, and think of them often - maybe more so now that I wish they were here to see K. Deaths like these in my family remind me of how long they've been gone. My grandparents passed away before I graduated college. My mom's parents didn't even live to see any one of my cousins or me get married. I always look at other people's wedding and baby photos, and I envy that their grandparents are alive to be a part of these wonderful occasions.

I wish K had some of the same experiences I had growing up with my grandparents, like going to the Jersey shore. My Pop-Pop would take me into the ocean - past the waves. It's here where I became a strong swimmer. My Mom-Mom and I would collect shells. I still have a glass jar full of them on my dresser.

At their house, my Mom-Mom and I would play the piano together. Last year, when the iPad mini came out, this commercial made me tear up every time because my Mom-Mom and I would play Heart & Soul together. My Pop-Pop would play the clarinet. Or he would turn on some music, and we would dance together in the living room - my feet on his, because I was too small and uncoordinated to keep up.

I remember always cutting through the dining room on the way to and from their kitchen, most likely to fetch someone a beer from the fridge, just so I could steal one of the Andes mints that Mom-Mom kept out for Pop-Pop. I swear, I ate hundreds of those things as a child.

Playing in my grandparents' basement with my cousins. Making pasta. Watching Phillies and Eagles games in the living room. Going for walks around the neighborhood, my Pop-Pop with his golf club in hand. Listening to stories about the Coast Guard, Sinbad, and the War. K will never get to make these same memories with them.

She'll make new ones with her grandparents. Maybe she'll make some of the same ones, or similar ones. I don't know, but I look forward to that. I look forward to reliving some of those moments with her and with my parents and Joey's. And while she's running around on the beach with her grandparents, I'll think of the times I had with mine - and hope that, wherever they are, they're watching.

7 comments:

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I'm so sorry about your Great-Aunt. And also that the next generation (K) doesn't get to meet most of that past generation.

makingmonkeysoup.com said...

By the time I was 17, all of my grandparents had passed away. I was only 16 when my Nana died and 17 when my grammy died.

It has always bothered me that my girls would never know my Nana. Now, with my Mom's recent cancer diagnosis, I am just hoping and praying that they can at least have many memories of my Mom.

Just the Tip said...

I totally know where you are coming from, I have a small family anyways and my parents are already gone, my grandparents are in their 80s and the girls see them on a daily basis. I can't imagine them not being a part of their life, it's sad. Death is just sad.

AnotherDreamer said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your great-aunt. All my grandparents have passed away in the years passed, and sometimes a longing flares up for them something fierce.

It sounds like you had so many wonderful memories.

Rach said...

Such a cute pic of you. So sorry to hear about your aunt.

someday-soon said...

Sorry for the loss of your Aunt. Absolutely love that picture! I can totally relate to your post. My grandfathers both died before I was 8 and I and my grandmother's died when I was in my 20's. At least I had some time with my grandma's to have some memories, I have so few of my grandpa's. My parents are older (mid 70's) and I just hope they live long enough to make memories with my kids. It's so hard to think that might not be possible =( At least she should get to know my in-laws well as they are in there early 60's.

Rebecca said...

I'm so sorry for the loss of your great aunt.

I've been thinking about this a lot, too, as I was incredibly close to my grandmother who died when I was 25. At the time, my youngest cousins (who lived across the country) came to the funeral but were so young that they barely knew her. It made me SO sad to think of all the years of memories that they'd missed out on with her. Knowing my grandmother as a child and as an adult was so amazing.

As my parents get older, I worry about how long my sons will have to get to know them and have those memories -- especially since we live so far away from them. It reminds me that we need to make the most of the time we have!