Growing up, I was never very close to my grandparents. On both sides, I was the youngest grandchild in a sea of them, and since my dad was in the Navy, we were usually living thousands of miles away from them. We would try to travel to see them once a year or so – in Chicago for my dad’s family and Ohio for my mom’s, but truthfully, I never felt too much of a connection with them. I loved them, but I just wasn’t particularly close to them.
My dad’s dad passed away before I was born, then my mom’s mom when I was 9, followed by my mom’s dad when I was 16, and my dad’s mom 5 months later.
By the time I was 17, I was grandparent-less, and a little hole gradually started to form in my heart. As I get older, I realize how much I’m missing out by never getting to talk to my grandparents as an adult. I often find myself wishing that I could ask them questions about what their lives were like when they were teenagers, or what my parents were like as children. I wish I could ask my incredibly talented grandmother for her very best baking tips (she made my parents’ wedding cake, and it looked absolutely stunning!), and I would love to hear how my other grandmother dealt with raising 7 kids at once. I’m bummed that they’ll never get to meet TJ, or know where I went to college.
There is, however, one connection between my mom’s parents, my parents, and me and TJ that I’ll always treasure, even if it’s a little silly. All three of us couples have a picture in a 1902 car from the Yesterday’s Main Street exhibit at the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago. I believe all of us took the pictures as newlyweds, and though many years have passed between each picture, it makes me feel connected to them. Almost like we aren’t as separated as it feels.
Though my grandparents will never know it, these 3 pictures mean the world to me.
Are you close to your grandparents? Do you have anything special that spans a few generations in your family?