My last grandparent just recently died. He outlived all his friends, siblings, his wife and all his children. I posted the talk I gave at his funeral here. He was also a very untalkative sort. When he turned 90 we had a birthday party where we invited all his living relatives. We had to track them down and he was not much help. He had not spoken to most of them in many years, and we had never met most of them. They were his first cousins, but they were strangers. Wonderful people. They came to his funeral. It made me wish I had known them before.]]>
I’m going to try to get those kinds of things written down for my kids — both my parents’ history and my own.
My f-i-l is 70 and is just now starting to have some real health problems. I wish we’d been able to start our family sooner so that our kids would have had more time with him.
Bah. Here’s one reason not to wait so dang long to start your family.]]>
My grandfather died in the early 1960′s, when I was still in grade school.
One time when I was 18, and my father was being verbally abusive towards me, he made one disparaging remark about his father. He had never said anything about him before, and never mentioned him since.
I can’t remember him ever saying anything about his mother either. She lived for about 40 years after grandfather died. I can’t remember my father ever talking to her on the phone.]]>
One of the best things I’ve ever done was sit down with my maternal grandma shortly before she died, and got her to talk. It was late at night and we were alone in her room, and I just asked her questions- it didn’t take much, and she was rolling down memrories. I wrote as fast as I could in my journal as she talked and talked. The light was low, so some of my transcribing is barely legible, but I have pages of details that would otherwise been lost forever. It’s one of my greatest treasures in this life.]]>