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a week of gratitude 2015

I’ve spent the morning going over old posts and realized that this day, the Tuesday before thanksgiving, is historically a day that I write a heartfelt post. 

Reading this old posts made me realize how much I miss my grandparents and the simplicity of belong a child. 

So, allow me to tell you about what amazing people they were. 

They are part of every happy memory that I have as a child. They were both always there for me and sacrificed a lot for me. 

When I was 9, and home life was tough, my grandparents took me in to live with them. They lived in an apartment and the seriously gave up their bedroom and slept on a sleeper sofa for a year so that I could have my own bedroom. 

They surprised me with a puppy by taking me to pick one out, telling me it was for a cousin. It wasn’t until the ride home that they told me that I could name her because she was mine! 

They lived paycheck to paycheck.  They sacrificed a lot financially and some how found the money to send me to a catholic school because the school system in their town was less that desirable. 

They always made the 4th of July special.  Each year, they would pack coolers, stop at the store so that my baby sister and I could buy a bag of mixed candy ( remember the kind that had a mixture of candy dots, ring pops, lollipops, sucky candies). Then we headed to a local park and set up for the day and played and ate and just had fun until fireworks started ( which I hated, btw) 

It was the same park that my sister fell from the monkey bars and almost but her tongue off. 

They would drive my cousin home at 3 am 45 min away because she was homesick. 

My grandmother is the reason I love to cook.   She always gave me carte Blanche to do what I wanted in the kitchen.  I would mix all kinds of things together. Sometimes it was edible, sometimes it kinda wasn’t.  They both always tried my concoctions. 

My grandfather built me an outdoor kitchen out of old wood and my grandmother gave me all kinds of old pots to play with.  I spent hours out there. 

My grandfather built me a tree swing. I loved that thing! 

They were avid gardeners, while there was t a lot of space, they grew some amaz ing tomatoes, ( probably why I’m so obsessed with growing tomatoes now) 

One day I picked all of the tomatoes. I sat in the corner of the garage and mixed them in my beach pail ( complete with sand.. Oops!). Whaaaat? I was making sauce!

Needless to say, they were not happy with me

They had a rose garden behind their garage. I wasn’t supposed to go there, but one day I did and got myself caught up in all of the prickers.  I remember screaming for them and my grandmother having to cut me out of them while my grandfather lifted me up. 

I have always been a Barbie fanatic.  I dreamed of having a Barbie dream house.  One day they asked me to go in. The attic and low and behold, they had bought one for me and one for my sister ( she wasn’t a Barbie girl, so she wasn’t as excited as me) 

I’ve grown up with stories of them taking in my uncle’s friends. 

My cousins tell me how much they helped them growing up. 

They passed away far too soon. I’ve never really dealt with their deaths.  My grandmother passed first. She had met jason, but not Ryan or Ali. 

Alison is named after my grandmother and I see so much of her spirit in Ali

  

My grandfather’s heart was broken.  He was never really the same after she passed. 

Other than their funerals, I’ve never been able to go to their gravesite. I’d burst into tears just thinking about it.

On a recent trip to the east coast, I knew it was time for me to come to terms with this and go visit them .

I told no one.  I needed to do this by myself. ( although last minute I had to ask my aunt and my mom where in the cemetery I could find them) 

I stopped and bought a small bottle of the brandy my grandfather used to drink. And flowers in my grandmother’s favorite color. 

I walked around the cemetery for over and hour in the cold rain looking for them. It started to get dark andi was afraid I’d lost my chance.  I wasn’t liked could go next week, I now life 2,000 miles away. 

I finally found them.  Appropriately, they are buried together. 

I took the tiniest sip of brandy ( I’m sure there are laws about drinking in a graveyard at dusk. Oops). I poured the rest into the ground, cleared the leaves ( except for the one that represents me)  and placed the flowers.  And I cried and talked to them until it was dark 

  

This was such a hard thing for me to do. I’ve spent over 2 decades avoiding it. I cannot tell you how happy I am that I’ve made peace with this and completed the task that still to this day has me feeling like a child 

  

While I was reading this morning I realized that so much of what I write is for my children’s children and their children. Sort of like my online diary. My iPad ( which I write on) is cracked and it’s not easy to post.

My computer is super slow and frustrating. 

I’ve asked for an in expensive lap top for Christmas so that I can write more.  ( I think I’m the only one I know who has never owned a lap top ) 

I’m ready to write my book and cannot do it on this iPad. 

Happy thanksgiving week, my friends. Take a minute during this crazy time and remember those along your path who have made you who you are today.  And thank you all, by reading my words you help me to remember the minor details that add up together and helped build me into the person I am today. 

I’m off to Brine my turkey. Much love, friends! Oxox

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Comments

  1. Michelle that is such a beautiful story of your grandparents. Got a tear in my eye..I’m so glad you got to visit them at their grave site. (((Hugs))) They sound like such wonderful grandparents to have. You were truly blessed โค

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  2. Beautiful.

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  3. Michelle reading your post today brought back so many wonderful memories of my childhood. I never knew my grandmothers as they passed when I was very young.

    I do remember my great grandmother Foot and she was a darling little English lady. My 2 grandfathers were special to me and this post brought back memories of Grampa Frew giving me a nickel to go buy candy and what a smile that Scottish man had he was thrilled to give me that nickel. At that time a nickel meant a lot. My Grampa Foot just lived about 25 miles from us so I use to take the trolley up to his house to stay with him and my aunt for a weekend or summer holiday.

    Those days were so great and when I tell the kids that we didn’t even have indoor plumbing until I was 14 years old they think I am telling a story but it is true. I was thinking this morning about my good friend of 76 years Jean MacDonald who still lives in my home town of Paris, Ontario Canada and how we use to love those outhouses when Halloween came around because we actually could tip them just plain fun for us kids.

    I spoke with her last week and it was like we had never been away from each other. I see her about every year we are still good friends. That is why I always tell people if you can just have one good friend feel blessed.

    Now at 81 1/2 years of age I am so glad that I had the loving family that I did. We of course were on the poorer side of Town but we did not know that because my Mom & Dad made us feel so loved. I now have to remember my Mom, Dad, and 2 brothers in Heaven and every day I talk with them and tell them to save that 5th chair at the table for me.

    Your children are so blessed to have a Mom like you Michelle as are you to have been blessed with them. Your family is precious as are my 2 sons I would never want to be without those boys. Their love is shown to me every time they call and end their calls with ” I Love You Mom”.

    I hope I haven’t rambled on too long I just felt that I could say some of these things to you after reading your lovely post to your grandparents. My the next year give you many more blessings. Love Pat

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  4. Diane Richardson says:

    Beautiful story Michelle

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Trackbacks

  1. […] an abundance of produce locally grown just begging to be presrved for the long winter ahead. My Grandparents always grew tomatoes.. and to carry on their legacy, I grow them every year now look how tall […]

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