As a kid loss didn’t mean much to me. Most things that we lost could be replaced, or if you enlisted the aid of Mom, found. The items I lost weren’t all that important really and as I look back on my childhood I never really wanted for anything. I had a close family. A ‘Leave it to Beaver’ family that I rebelled against with every ounce of my strength in my teenage years but it also meant that our grandparents were a regular part of our family gatherings. It meant trips to see our grandparents on a pretty regular basis. Those trips were always trips filled with fun and exciting new things to do and see…and good snacks. It meant eating Grandpa’s cookies and watching baseball on the TV or a Laker’s game. It meant reading a really awesome coffee table book about the history of the NFL. It meant playing Star Trek on the back porch of Grandma and Grandpa’s house. It meant going and hanging out with them for the evening while Mom and Dad went back to Disneyland to watch the Main Street Electrical Parade at Disneyland. It also meant seeing my Aunt Betty, my Uncle Dave and playing with cousins. I also got my first star wars vehicle toys there, a very cool white tie fighter and Darth Vader’s tie fighter!! We played with Gi-Joe figures on the giant (at the time at least) rock fireplace. It meant dinners gathered around the table on Thanksgiving, Christmas, Birthdays and during family reunions. It meant Family!
Last week my Grandma passed away at the age of 90. She lived a good long life. She had a loving husband, two great kids, seven or eight grandkids, and four great grand kids who she got to know and hang out with on several occasions. Grandma became GG when my kids were born but to me and to my brother she will always be Grandma. She was the last of my grandparents to pass away and I miss them all but she was the last and for some reason it’s really sticking with me. She was the last connection to a forgotten time. She saw so much in her time. Most of the modern conveniences that we know today didn’t exist when she was born. No computers, no cell phones, no TV, no 8 tracks/cassette tapes/CD’s/DVD’s/Blu-Ray’s. She adapted to it all.
I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about what I want people to say about me when I pass on and I’ve gotten really fancy with it and I’ve written long personal mission statements that have directed me through life based on those ideas. In the end I just want to be remembered as a good person who tried his best for his family and his kids. Grandma embodied all of this and maybe that is her legacy to pass on to future generations. She was a good honest person and she raised good honest children who in turn raised good and honest kids. I am trying to do the same now. Grandma loved us unconditionally, even when we managed to break something every. Time. We. Visited. She made us meals and let us watch TV when we ate them. I loved her like I love my own parents. I’ve loved all of my grandparents like I love my parents.
I miss my grandparents. I miss my Grandma. She was an awesome Grandma and in the end that pretty much sums it up. I love you Grandma, you will forever be in our hearts and the hearts of our children.
R.I.P. Frances Wilson!!