13 May

over at omsh i was going to comment on my grandpas, but got so engrossed in writing about my grandpas that i decided to write a post of my own.

grandpa fred

Originally uploaded by mommymae

grandpa fred and maw maw b

Originally uploaded by mommymae

my mom’s dad, grandpa fred, was a quiet man who i felt loved me more than anyone, even though he rarely spoke. it was in the way he would look at us and smile or beg to take our pictures every time we went to their house, which was often. i was in 8th grade when he died and on a field trip. the morning before i left for the day trip, my mom took me to the hospital to see him. i think she knew. i don’t remember my sister or brother being there and don’t know if they saw him that day, but when mom picked me up after school, i knew he died the second i got in the car. i was glad to have those few minutes to say good-bye that morning. there were so many things i never knew about him that i didn’t find out until after he passed away, but wouldn’t have changed how much i loved him and loved the smell of his cigar smoke. i can still picture him sitting on the back steps smoking one.

i barely knew grandpa fred’s dad, fred, sr., but remember him being just as quiet. he did a lot of genealogical research in our southern illinois county for the cemeteries. he plotted most of them. when i was in high school, i wanted to see his research and went to our town library to get the books out. the librarian told me that they were only for adults, but when i told her the author was by great grandpa, she let me check them out to a research table. i felt like i was let behind the velvet rope. no picture of this dandy at my house, but i know my mom has some.

grandad and grandma k

Originally uploaded by mommymae

my maw maw b’s dad, my grandad, would have loved my kids. he would have really been taken by my girls and would have been over the moon for the boy. i miss him like you wouldn’t believe, especially in the summertime when we used to go the their farm and eat fresh homemade pickles and strawberry jam made from their crops. he was a good ole’ boy and man i miss him. he wore beat up big smith overalls all the time and had the craziest cackle. as my maw maw b says, he was a corker with a goat-eating-briar grin. i don’t have any candid shots here, but need some, as this church photo doesn’t remind me much of him. no overalls, you know?

i never met my dad’s dad as he passed away just after my dad graduated college. i did run across some pictures of him recently while cleaning at my parent’s house. it was near the end and he was so small. i think he died of cancer, lung cancer, if i’m correct. and he smoked until his dying day. his wife was the same way except that she had emphysema.

i did know my dad’s step-dad, who was my grandpa carl. they lived in florida, though, so we didn’t see them all that much. he was fun. i remember him killing a garter snake in their yard once when we were visiting. and picking limes with him to give to grandma to make limeade. yum.

my kids are lucky that they have 11 grandparents including my folks, daddyjay’s folks and both sets of his grandparents, my maw maw b, and grammy and capt. grandpa in arizona. the girls will remember them all and i am so happy for that. hopefully, the boy and this next one will know and love them all too.


6 Responses to “grandpas”

  1. Black Hockey Jesus August 1, 2008 at 11:03 pm #

    I totally dug the way your grandpa didn’t speak much but he could express himself by the way he appeared. Old people are so good at that. I miss my grandpa’s pipe smoke too.

  2. sonrie June 14, 2008 at 11:20 am #

    Wow, how beautiful. I really miss my grandparents, too. They passed away when I was 8, 9, 10, and 22 years old. I really miss each of them, but especially the three that passed first, because I hardly had enough time to get to know them. I feel like they are my guardian angels, though, watching over me all the time (with two great-aunts).

  3. Amanda June 4, 2008 at 4:23 pm #

    This post made me cry. I remember Granddad and of course, Grandpa Fred. I adored them both. I loved going to your grandparents on Sundays after church for chicken ‘n dumplins. Grandpa Fred had one of the gentlest souls I’ve ever encountered. I’m so glad you remember him so well. Everyone deserves to be remembered the way you have preserved him in your heart. Thanks for reminding me. Oh, how handsome he is in his uniform!

  4. MP May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm #

    …awe… You were lucky. I didn’t have any grandpa’s, they had passed away before I was born.
    My step son had 1 Great Gradma who just passed away, 1 Grandpa who just passed away and has 9 living grandparents of sorts…
    I had Nana and Grandma Garascia..they were both super special but I know that I would have LOVED a grandpa.

  5. OMSH May 13, 2008 at 10:10 pm #

    This was beautiful – what a tribute. Thank you so much for taking the time to write it all down. I can see you as a child sifting through the records with a librarian looking over you, making sure you honored the “sacred” books.



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