I stopped keeping tabs on when or how long it’s been since I had grandparents that were living because it dawned on me a few years ago that they are still alive. Not in the flesh form, but in the spirit of me. I do things/say things/think things and they are all things I learned by watching/hearing/experiencing my grandparents do. My Papa — pictured in the photo below, said this was his best birthday ever. Who knew, it would be his last one. I find that to be absolutely eerie but in the same token, absolutely uplifting that I was privileged enough to be there for it and many birthdays before that.
He had eaten some Baskin Robbins birthday treats, hence the green lips. He was silly and irrational and I miss him, but he taught me about standing up for myself and to have a thick skin. I wear his memory often.
My Gammy —pictured below, lives on each time I kiss my girls. This photo taken when I was just a little nugget, grossed me out for years because she kissed me on the lips. I said I would NEVER do this with my girls, and here I am today, I can’t get enough of their lips and lips smacking kisses. She would be proud as she loved a good kiss from us grandkids.
And finally my Nana, just the way I remember her —pictured below. She lives on in me when I think about being challenged. Her memory makes me think what is a challenge anyway? She saw more change in this world and in a lifetime that no one will probably ever see again in terms of technological advances, war, hate crimes against blacks, women, gays.. pretty much everyone except men at that time. The challenges she faced for over 80 years pale in comparison to what I will face, what my children will face… 1923 not only had prohibition still, it was the year there was sound in a film in a public place, sounds folks! Not to mention Albert Einstein was still alive! At 80, she could use email and had played a few games on my iPhone. Astounding lifetime of change.