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View Diary: *New Day* How many of your ancestors have you personally known? Take the poll (270 comments)

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  •  Three of my grandparents (17+ / 0-)

    were central figures in my childhood (my mother's father died when she was six), as well as the siblings of my paternal grandparents -- my grandmother's elder sister lived with my grandparents during the early part of my childhood and thus is she also a part of my memories and upbringing.  My grandfather's elder half-brother (a kind of shady, former gangster type) who had no grandchildren always claimed to be our adopted "other"  grandfather, since we never knew my mother's father.  He would come bearing gifts in a silver Airstream, after he and his 2nd or 3rd wife would travel across the country...

    On my mother's side, her maternal grandmother lived in the house directly behind my grandmother's until I was 10. Upon every visit to my grandmother, we would all get up the nerve to go back and visit great grandma walker, who seemed to be older than the earth to all of us: she was a tiny woman and -- according to my grandmother and several aunts -- an awful hypochondriac.  But she always told my mother that I (of all the children) looked the most like the toddler daughter she had lost in 1922, so she was very nice to me.  This used to give my mother the creeps, but my aunts told her not to worry about it, the woman couldn't possibly remember that.  (The arrogance of youth).  And after all, e looks too much like her daddy for that to even be true...

    What I remember most is that great grandma always, always, always had dr. pepper in her fridge.  The OLD dr. pepper in the very skinny bottles, not the modern version.  That was a real treat, since my parents would never purchase it.  

    To this day, dr. pepper remains my favorite soft drink, in part because of these associations with a time gone by.

    I was lucky in that I had a childhood and a life, really, that was filled with multiple generations: older people were people to me, not just scary and boring shadows shuffling through the hallway.  And they talked often of their lives, would answer questions of the people in their lives who had died before I was born.  They would take me to places and show me where they had grown up, where grandparents and great-grandparent and great-great grandparents were buried. I know and have visited the burial spots for all 16 of my great-great grandparents, because of my own grandparents who took me to cemeteries to tend to grave sites, and as a young adult I helped my grandfather replace the gravestones for his parents and grandparents in a small SE Georgia town.  

    They also taught me to love people I never met, simply because they loved them.  


    Words can sometimes, in moments of grace, attain the quality of deeds. --Elie Wiesel

    by a gilas girl on Wed Mar 27, 2013 at 09:04:16 AM PDT

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