Family in all it’s glory
This past long weekend I visited my aunt, uncle, cousins, and grandmother in Kansas with my family. We wanted to squeeze a visit in to my grandmother before both my brother and I go off on our adventures. It was an incredible visit. I enjoyed seeing the younger cousins growing up and, as my aunt pointed out with the older ones, the age difference doesn’t see quite so huge as we get older (though 30 and 15 are still quite different!).
Seeing grandma was heart-wrenching in the best way possible. In fact, just writing that sentence and I got a lump in my throat and started tearing up. My relationship with my father’s mother is fairly unique, even in relation to my brother and cousins. You see, I was the first grandchild and for the first six or so years of my life, we lived in the same house with my grandparents. One of my very first memories in my entire lifetime was being not quite two, in my great grandmother’s room with my grandpa, grandma, and father the day she died. From my first breath, we were all a family. No lines were drawn between generations. We were all one. On my hardest days I find myself pulling on the memories of us all in that giant house in White Plains, New York. The deck out back where I would swim in a baby pool, the dining room and dining room table where I stole freshly washed grapes laid out to dry, hitting my head on the marble table my uncle hit his head on when he was little, the double attics where my small part of the family lived, feeding the ants on the sidewalk out front with grandma, getting into trouble with my faux 2 year old boyfriend Ricky, stuffing freshly made meringue cookies in my mouth illicitly, or planting MY garden grandma had made for me where the concrete path had cracked. For me, that time in my life is the touchstone. Nothing else ever lived up to the idyllic days of White Plains.
Grandparents (both sides… I was the first grandkid all around) were best friends. So losing them has been some of the hardest moments in my lifetime. I remember each one. I remember losing Nanny too (great grandma). And (shhh don’t tell) I still talk to them.
So this weekend was pretty hard. I came home feeling brittle. Just talking to me could break me. I am straddling this line of adulthood and adventure with the want and need to crawl into grandma’s lap and be 3 again.
However, despite the difficulties, there were so many joys. My nephew turning 13, watching Mimi and Jonathan interact as very independent 8 year olds, being the passenger for 15 year old Zahava while she drove, and interacting with everyone as an adult. My Aunt Kay and I discovered we were kindred genealogical souls. We both love genealogy and have joined forces to fill out our family trees. It is all so exciting. We made so many discoveries this weekend and it was twice as good having each other to share it with. We found pictures of great great grandparents and lots of papers. But at this moment, I find myself staring at a ring. It was part of what I was given this weekend. My Nanny’s college ring. Rose Hentel Cronbach, class of 1914. I remember the day I said, “She’s in my heart, poppa,” when she died. She’s in my heart and on my hand and always with me.
Family is just amazing.
December 13, 2017
November 16, 2017
June 07, 2017