Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Holding on to Family Memories

Today would have been my Grandaddy's 89th birthday.  I have so many fond memories of times spent with him.  It's on days like today I especially find myself missing him and wishing that my kids could have known him.
This is 4 generations: My Great-Granny, My Grandaddy, My Mom and Me
 Grandaddy used to sit out on their front porch swing and listen to me talk and tell him stories. I remember how he used to take my sister and me to the drug store to buy his cigars and ask, "Do you girls need anything?" by "need" he really meant want and we always wanted candy.  He would get in line and let us pick out whatever we wanted.  My favorite was to get the Brach's candies out of the bins, which was a special treat.  Grandaddy always felt the need to sit out by the pool to watch me swim, even far beyond the age of my needing supervision in the pool.  My Grandaddy was a quiet presence, but if you got him riled up, he'd argue a blue streak ~ my dad and uncles loved to get him going.  My Grandaddy who always ordered the same things at the same restaurants.  Any given Saturday at Wendy's he'd order a "BLT with may-o-naise" for lunch.  He would let my sister and I eat his Little Debbie snacks that Mema had bought for him to take to work in his lunch (we called them Grandaddy's lunchies) and after he'd give them to us say, "Don't tell your Mema."  My Grandaddy who always supported the things I was interested in and would be there any time, all I had to do was ask.
Easter 1979 ~ Dad, Mom, Mema, Me (in front), Granddady and my Sister

To this day I still smoke the ocassional cigar in his honor (shhhhh! Don't tell my kids!) and the smell keeps him close to my heart.  I wear one of his flannel shirts on cold days and feel him with me.  I watch the Space Shuttle movies "Hail Columbia" and "The Dream Is Alive" and see him in the VAB working.  My kids love watching the movies with him in them.  These are all ways I keep him close.

Me (left), showing Grandaddy my new Strawberry Shortcake watch with my sister.

Several years ago I found an idea in a magazine that I really liked.  A lady wrote in and talked about continuing to celebrate those in your family who are no longer with you.  She continued to have "birthday" dinners where she would pull out pictures of their special loved one and share her special memories with her children.  I liked it so much that I have used it each year on special days to celebrate our family.  Tonight at dinner we will talk about my Grandaddy and how special he was to me.  He may have gone on to be with Jesus, but his memory lives on and my kids will know their Great-Grandaddy, just as they will know their other great grands.
One last pic of Mema and Grandaddy with my uncle.

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