Posted by: mydarkestplaces | February 8, 2011

Mes Grandparents

I’ve written a lot about the awesome influence that my parents have had in my life (hint: it’s immeasurable). But I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the other people who have helped in forming me.

My family has never been a Waltons kind of family (thank god). Although close, loving and supportive, we weren’t perfect. And that’s fine. Who really wants to be? But to this day, when the chips are down, my family is there for me. And that cannot be undersold.

But this post (as you can see from the headline) isn’t to talk about my immediate family. It’s to talk about my grandparents.

As my father pointed out when my paternal grandfather (Poppy) passed away, I am incredibly lucky to have had both sets of grandparents until I was an adult. I was 18 when Poppy passed. I had a veritable lifetime of memories with him. I was almost 25 before I lost my next grandparent – my paternal grandmother (Gummy). Now, at almost 30, I still have both my maternal grandparents.

This has all been thrown in acute relief. I learned this morning that my grandfather (Granddad) had what they’re considering a “mini-stroke” this weekend. There is nothing like an illness to put the mortality of our loved ones in sharp perspective.

My earliest memories are lined with images of both sets of grandparents. Summers spent at respective summer getaways, Thanksgiving spent at the Kid’s Table, the tradeoff at Ludlow after my parents had time away from us. My grandparents, all four of them, are incredible people. Who did/still do incredible things.

It’s not by happenstance that my parents instilled in us a love of service, the same was instilled in them. Between Rotary, volunteering with various Adirondack Park conservation agencies, to church, to schools, to you name it, all my grandparents have been active within their community for the majority of their lives.

Poppy was in WWII, Granddad in Korea. Both grandmothers, and all four great-grandmothers, went to college. My goal is to be half the person that they were, they are, and that they wish me to be. Maybe someday I will be. I just hope I get there before it’s too late.

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