Last Thursday, June 8th, would have been my grandparent’s 75th wedding anniversary. My father’s parents were not the type to talk, but last week I found myself really regretting not peppering them with questions when I was a kid (perhaps from a grandchild they would have been more inclined to open up and answer). The things I wish I had asked! How did they meet? What did they think of each other the first time the saw the other? What did they do on their first date? When did they know it was love? My father doesn’t know the answers to these questions. My Aunt Judy, who lives in Colorado, knows a few. They met at Timkin Oil where they worked together.
My grandmother and I were close. She taught me the secret to her sauce—a jar of Ragu–much to my mother’s dismay—after years of trying to copy it. She shadow boxed with me in the kitchen in her 80’s. She taught me how to wash dishes without a dishwasher, and in doing so imparted some of the best life-advice ever. My favorite: I was complaining to my grandmother about my height. I’m 5’11” and it wasn’t easy to date, especially in high school, when most of the boys had not yet hit their growth spurt. She told me, “We are all the same height when we are horizontal.” She stopped me dead in my tracks. But, as you probably know, most 80-year olds can say whatever they want. I will impart the same advice (when she’s a LOT older to my own height-blessed daughter)!
My grandfather, was the “fix-it” grandpa. He could fix anything, but he specialized in bikes. He fixed up a strawberry shortcake bike with a custom banana seat for my 7th birthday (if you grew up in the 80s, you know what a banana seat was—a skinny seat that was just long enough to give a spot to a passenger). I loved that bike.
I wish I had asked them more questions. I wish I had the time to know them as an adult. I wish they had lived to meet my daughter and Richie. They would have all really liked each other, a lot! I wish I knew more so that I could share the family history with my daughter and my husband. That through those stories they could have gotten to know my grandparents—and I could have too.
And so, I am going to celebrate my grandparent’s 75th anniversary. Not with the traditional gift–a diamond–but by beginning a blog series. In it, I plan on asking the questions I never got to ask of my grandparents. Who am I going to ask? I’m going to start with family. The series will celebrate the Love Stories that surround us, inspire us, created us!