I often tell people that I’m the baby of the babies in my family. While many in my family had different memories than I did, I think I feel like I was given a different perspective on the lives of my grandparents.
What made me different? I feel that I was intentional about making memories at a young age vs being distracted with adulthood while my grandparents were living.
What did I do different? I took time. I sat on a front porch swing for hours with my grandpa. I put a puzzle together of which I still have in a picture frame. I spent weeks at their home in the summer. When my grandpa was hospitalized I woke up early and stayed at his bedside many summer days. When I was away at college I would call my grandmother on the phone regularly. I willingly took the time when everyone else was focused on growing up. I don’t say that to brag, but I say that to acknowledge and appreciate those moments that I had.
Let me caveat by telling you about the photo. This is my grandparents Robert and Alice Boon. The little girl is my mother and the lady in the background is my Aunt Ruie. She was my grandfather’s twin sister who was a child at heart mentally.
Here’s what I know. My Grandfather was a hard working dairy farmer. Prior to his farm life he worked in Michigan during a boom of construction in the 1930’s. He always had a friendly disposition, and was well known in his small town of Trenton Missouri. He loved animals especially his dog Buttons. He was a Pepsi drinker, he always enjoyed going to town, he waved at everyone who passed by, he fixed the best popcorn, he wore overalls and ate Bran Flakes for breakfast every day.
Now my Grandmother complimented him well. She absolutely loved him and her family dearly. What’s even more is that she was friends to people who most wouldn’t be friends with. She loved people. She prayed for her family every night. I don’t remember her talking down to anyone. She was a tea and coffee drinker, she lived in her kitchen except for when General Hospital and Price is Right came on. She never learned to drive, so didn’t get out much. She loved cooking and getting her weekly food order from the Swan’s man. She was patient, she was giving, she was simple and practical. She even cared for stray cats. She had a hard life, but none the wiser.
I’m just scratching the surface. There were many more years that others shared with them, but I wouldn’t change what I got from them.
Just ask yourself, what is most important at this moment? We all have busy lives, but the memories are made when you take time and slow down a bit. Look up from your phone or laptop and see what is around you. Look at the faces. Who are they? Where did they come from? What do they need from you? What might you do?