For some reason I have been very sad lately. I know that is not something a guy is really supposed to admit out loud but it’s true. I have been thinking a lot about life and what has happened in mine so far. There is a lot of background of me no one on here knows. That will be in my book once I finish writing it.
Looking back, my childhood was not the most ideal. I won’t get into the details but let’s say I spent the majority of my days at my grandparents. Which in the end; was not a bad thing. Actually, it was the best thing for me. I am truly grateful for all the time I was able to spend with them.
My grandparents ended up being my parents by default. Not that they minded. At least they never said otherwise. My daily routine consisted of me going to school then getting off the bus at my grandparents until one of my biological parents decided to pick me up. This usually happened after I was fed and about to fall asleep. In the summer months I was at their house all day. It’s funny sitting here remembering some of the days I had with them. I really wish I could put it all down on paper but I would be here forever.
I learned a lot about life as I know it from my grandparents. They really made sure I learned the necessities of how to be a good person. Pretty much how not to be my biological parents. They taught me about respect for oneself and of others, how to love unconditionally, how to respect other living things, and how to respect other’s opinions no matter what their beliefs are. There were so many mini lessons in between that filled the gaps. Take for example the picture above, how to be silly and enjoy life.
I feel so connected to their way of life. It’s like I should be living in the early to mid-1900’s. They not only taught me respect, they showed me respect. I learned how to make decisions, good or bad and the lessons that came along. I always felt protected by them. They never let me get too deep into trouble. They were always there when I needed them. I can remember the one time I tried to run away from home. Where did I go? My grandparent’s house. Not much of a plan but I knew I would be safe.
I learned so much from them. My grandma taught me to cook. I am now in the possession of the magic sauce pot. So many batches of meatballs and sauce were made in there. I am still trying to master my grandma’s recipes. It will never be the same. You all know that grandma’s recipes never come out the same when you make them. But I have the secrets of the best sauce and meatballs from Italy and I’m not sharing! They are mine, all mine! Sorry about that….I was taught better than that.
On the chore days I was by my grandma’s side working away. Ever wonder what it was like scrubbing the floors on your hands and knees with a brush? Don’t! You don’t want to know. I also learned how to do laundry and the benefits of drying clothes outside. What they are, I don’t know. I always thought it was a pain having to run the wire from tree to tree and pinning up all the stuff to dry. Actually the taking down and folding was tougher. Try doing sheets in the wind without letting them touch the grass. I dare you! Remember when people used to wash dishes in the sink and not a dishwasher. That was me too! I tell you what. I certainly learned the value of hard work.
Some of the best memories were of sitting on the porch eating watermelon and spitting out the seeds into the yard while listening to the ball game on the radio with my grandfather (Pap-Pap). I used to collect trading cards and Pap-Pap and I would go through them. We talked about what bums the players were. I think the best times were when Pap-Pap would talk about his time in WWII. He rarely talked about it. I can now understand why he didn’t like to. But now I know how special those stories were. Very few people got to hear them. And no one will ever again. Pap-Pap passed away 3 years ago. I am glad I was a regular caller to them. No matter what state or country I was in I made sure to call them when I could. I was lucky to call a few days before he passed. That conversation will be mine, sorry no sharing. I was glad it was a good day for him and he remembered who I was.
I wish I learned to cherish them just a little more. I wish I asked them more questions while they could answer them. I wish I could hug them just one more time.
There will always be regrets. I think it is time to make plans on going back to PA to visit my gram so I don’t have any more regrets.