Throughout time children have revolted against their parents and turned to the love, comfort and friendship of their grandparents.
I never knew my grandfathers, but I was privileged to have been exposed to both grandmothers, great grandfather on mom’s side and great grandparents on dad’s side of the family. The exposure to my grandparents helped me understand a little bit about who they were and how they lived.
My maternal grandmother showed me exactly what unconditional love meant. As a small child, I remember looking at her and thinking there wasn’t a more beautiful woman in the world. When I had my tonsils removed and waking up from the hideous ether, I looked at mom and cried, “I WANT GRANDMA!” Mom was heartbroken. I don’t know how my grandma got to the hospital so fast, but when she arrived, all was right with the world.
Dad’s mom wasn’t anything like my other grandmother. She was senile as long as I can remember. However, I clearly recall her making the best homemade potato soup and southern fried chicken. Unfortunately, she died from smoke inhalation after starting a fire while smoking in bed.
I met my maternal great-grandfather a couple of times. It was like stepping into a Walt Disney movie. He lived in rural northern New York in a one-room log cabin with my great-aunt and great-uncle. The walls were adorned with banjos, violins, and guitars. There was even an upright piano. Although the cabin didn’t have running water and was extremely rustic I noted how immaculate my great-aunt kept it.
My great-grandparents on dad’s side were amazing people who immigrated to the United States in the 1880s. My great-grandfather was from Glasgow, Scotland and my great-grandmother hailed from London, England. They were both active in the Salvation Army and grandpa became a Major in the Salvation Army. Grandma raised several foster children. They taught me what true love was. You see, even in their nineties they would sit on the couch holding each other while watching television. Grandpa raised homing pigeons and I marvelled how these birds could carry messages to other states and return home to roost. My grandpa would also bring out his concertina and play and sing Scottish songs for me while dancing around the living room. I thoroughly enjoyed the entertainment.
Sadly, everyone has died and now I am the old one. I certainly hope I give my grandchildren some fond memories to carry them through their lives.
Dennis L. Page