Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sometimes I listen to Pink Floyd in the afternoon, for reasons I cannot name it turns me to mush.

These are my grandparents.  Pretty cute, huh?

I love the way they’re looking at each other. He’s obviously just said something funny. Knowing my grandpa he thought it was much funnier than she did, but she likes him, you can tell, so she's humoring him. I don’t think I ever saw my grandparents look at each other like that, I’m so glad someone captured this moment.

I didn't know this version of them, in fact, if I hadn't found this picture when I was sorting through some old junk, I might not have believed it existed.

My grandparents weren’t really affectionate when we were growing up. They were practical, there was work to do and standing around being all sappy wasn’t going to get the pigs fed. We knew they loved us, it just wasn’t something they went around saying. They were "show-ers".  I don't think I ever even saw them hug, forget make crazy eyes at each other. They taught my brothers and I how to work and to stick with something, even if it was hard. When our parents divorced and everything they had suspected about my mom and dad turned out to be true and my mother made it difficult for them to see us, my grandparents still made sure we spent summers with them... on the farm..... in the middle of nowhere. They were always at our graduations and weddings, even if it meant driving across the entire stinking country to attend. My grandpa read to me, sometimes from the World Book Encyclopedias he sold on the side when he wasn't teaching school or working on the farm. There were no simple answers, if we had a question my grandpa loved to help us look things up.  This was in the olden days, before Google. You had to REALLY want to know and have some time on your hands if you asked my grandpa questions. At the time I thought it was such a bore, but I know that his love of learning and bottomless curiosity had a huge impact on me. My grandma taught me how to weed the garden and make beds with hospital corners. I remember her cleaning chickens (in her kitchen) and watching from a safe distance as she fearlessly shooed away a giant hog who was rooting up her front yard.
I always loved and respected my grandparents, but a lot of years passed before I felt what you might call "a fondness" for them.  Why does it seem to work like that?
When my grandma was in the hospital for the last time I called her and told her I loved her. She seemed caught off guard, it took a few seconds for her to return the sentiment. She just wasn't used to saying it. A few months after she died my grandpa came to visit. He was looking at pictures and came across one of the two of them. His eyes got teary and he said “I really miss my sweetheart.” I had never seen my grandpa cry before. Since then he's started to forget things. But not his sweetheart.
I'm a lot like my grandparents.  I don't believe in sleeping in, I like to relax just as much as the next guy and we can do that, right after we finish our homework and do the dishes and fold the laundry and clean the gutters........ (I'm kidding, we live in Arizona, we don't have gutters you sillys!). I want my kids to be ready because life is not easy.  In fact it leans to the hard side.  Is that so bad?  But I don't want them to have to come across an old picture in a junk drawer before they know I have a soft side too (mostly because I have a couple of kids whom I suspect will NEVER clean out another drawer again after they leave our home). I do have a soft side, I just have a hard time showing it before the oven is clean.
Oh Life, why must you be so complicated?
{I never ever ever saw my grandma wearing jewelry, had I not seen this with mine own two eyes I would not have believed it.}


Cheryle said...

What a beautiful tribute to your grandparents, Sue! My grandparents weren't too much on the mushy side, either, but I knew they loved me. My mother, OTOH (who was of your grandparents' generation) made sure she told her grandchildren often, and with feeling!

I think it's better today, that our kids know all the sides of us. Not our secrets, perhaps, but our mushy parts.

Thanks for posting this. It is a bright spot in an already spectacular day!

Heidi Ashworth said...

Oh, wow, this is really lovely. I have the same question tho: life, complicated, why?

Keenie Beanie said...

Beautiful words, Sue. Brought tears to my eyes.

The Crash Test Dummy said...

That was really sweet. Loved it. Now I'm so dying to hear about the Pink Floyd in the afternoon. I LUB Pink Floyd too, so which song turns you to mush? Out with it.

Todd said...

Ahh, nothing like syncing up The Dark Side of the Moon album with The Wizard of Oz and taking that meandering stroll down memory lane.

No really there's nothing like it, and I don't recommend it either.

AuBien said...

Yes,..it's an odd feeling to realize that people we know a certain way have other aspects to them we hadn't seen or noticed before. Great post.