Day 22: A Day With the Family I'll Never Forget
This is one which is difficult to answer because of my whole family dynamic. The whole family is rarely together at one time, and times when it does happen (especially if it includes my mom) it ends up being disastrous.
So I don’t want to dig up yet another unfortunate incident because those could fall under days not only I regret happening but also never forget.
|"Bubba" the neighbor, Uncle Butch, and Mom|
Who I mainly consider my blood family are my grandparents, my Aunt Emma (Grandpa’s sister who died a few years before he did), and my Uncle Butch. They were really there when no one else was, especially when I fell on hard times.
To me, they are the core elements of what family is supposed to represent. Some of the others in my family—yes they are that via blood and appearance wise, but when it comes to substance, a few of them truly lack it.
There are some rituals I will never forget, so I will talk about some of those.
One ritual involved the three of us (Grandpa, Grandma, and me).
Grandpa loved to work outdoors and when he was in prime health, he would have a garden every year. He especially loved growing tomatoes, corn on the cob, black eyed peas, Crowder peas, and butter beans.
He would have these huge buckets (think of the supply/paint buckets at Home Depot) and would load them.
Grandma and I would mainly help with the peas and beans—to remove them from their shells. Then, Grandma would go through the process to preserve them so we could have them for later.
Once Grandpa started getting ill, it became harder for him to maintain a garden. If Uncle Butch had been around, maybe it would have been maintained. However, my other uncle didn't have as much of a green thumb as Grandpa, so soon there was no more garden.
I also enjoyed when Grandpa and I would ride together. Grandpa wasn't really that much of a talker at the house, but he tended to talk a lot more when he was in the car.
At least when he was in the car with me.
Even in my younger years, I was the one people confided in and just felt comfortable talking to. I never minded being confided in. I believe it takes a certain amount of bravery to confide in someone, especially if one is revealing something he’s never told anyone else.
Grandma and Grandpa would both tell me things because they would never have to worry about anyone else knowing about it.
He and I had wonderful times on our journeys. I know it saddened him when he had to stop driving because I think for him, it proved to be relaxing and a great escape when things started to get a bit trying at the house (like Grandma working his nerves).
I didn't realize how much freedom driving provided until I was finally able to drive and have a car of my own.
Another ritual my grandma and I had occurred in the morning. Usually, I am up before she does, and I start making some coffee. Each day, a fresh pot. No leftover coffee for us. It just didn't taste the same.
Grandpa would drink coffee every once in a while, but he was mainly a tea man. I made sure to have the kettle set aside with boiling water for him.
I usually would also have some toast to go along with it. Grandma usually liked toast; I tended to like cheese toast. By the time Grandma would get up, everything was ready.
When the weather was warm, she and I would sit out on the porch. She would have a little radio and try to listen to the classifieds. People would advertise if they were having sales on items, including their address and telephone number. If Grandma was interested, she would write down the information, even though the majority of the time, she never got a chance to go to the place to check on the items. The show was usually for about thirty minutes.
Once it was over with, she and I would spend some time talking. Or we would work on a Search-a-word puzzle together. She was always amazed at how quickly I would find the words.
Sometimes we were just observant and watch people drive or walk by.
That was just our time together.
I did hear gossip that others in the family thought it was so weird—the ritual Grandma and I had. In their minds, they believed that Grandma should have had other people to spend time with in that way. Of course, they weren't brave enough to say that to Grandma’s face.
What they failed to realize is that I didn't mind the ritual at all. Even when I do visit, she and I still perform the ritual to a degree. It is a bit tougher, since Grandma can’t move around as well as she used to. Yet, we still try and have it.