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10-26-2016 10:13 PM
@SeaMaiden. I am so sorry! I, too, have been through a very long separation from family I loved more than my life because they wanted ALL of my grandmother's estate! The sad part is I would have gladly given them all of it. Money meant little to me compared to the love I had for them and the lifelong dream I had of living near them and being a part of family holidays and day to day living, good and bad! My mistake was thinking they wanted to be with me as much as I wanted to be with them. When they tried to steal my grandmother's house from her while she was alive ( her words, not mine) things were said that broke the family right down the middle. Those things were so vile that it took 20 years before anyone spoke! Only after they learned of my mother's terminal illness did her sibling phone. By then, it was too little too late. Oh, we spoke, politely, (at least WE were) but what was broken just couldn't be fixed. So, it's not just you, or us that have gone through this. I'm sad to say it's probably more common than we know. I'm sorry for you because I share your pain. I hope you have handled it better than I did, it really nearly killed my side of the break! God bless you!
10-26-2016 10:24 PM
Both sets of my grandparents were immigrants. My maternal grandparents were from Ukraine and my paternal grandparents were from Ireland. Both lived about 2 hours away and in the 1950s, that was a significant distance.
My maternal grandparents frightened me. They did not speak English, my grandmother kissed me all over my face, (leaving it wet) made strange (to me) smelling foods, made the Sign of the Cross backward from how we learned and had an outhouse. We dreaded going there. My grandfather was my grandmother's first husband's brother. He married her when his brother was killed in a work accident. At the time she was pregnant with my mother, her 8th child. Like all the men in the neighborhood, he worked in the steel mill down the street. He always smelled of beer and (chewing) tobacco. Both of them lived well into their 90s.
We loved going to my paternal grandparents. My grandfather was a local politician. He never said much to us, but always opened his wallet. My Nan was the best. Her unmarried brother and sister lived with them. My Nan and Auntie took us shopping, out to lunch or out to tea. Both were awful cooks so we almost always went to a restaurant when we visited them. My mother was sick a lot so there were a number of times my sister and I lived (for an extended period) with our paternal grandparents
My Nan died of pancreatic cancer when she was in her late 50s. My grandfather died a few months later, the doctor said he died from loneliness and a broken heart.
10-26-2016 11:52 PM
I mostly have memories of my mom's mom, my Grammy, as we lived with her for years after my parents divorced. But my favorite grandparent memory is of my Grumpy. Technically, Grumpy was my paternal step-great grandfather, but I didn't know that. One day, when I was six, and my brother was nine, our doorbell rang. My mom answered it and started screaming excitedly. Next thing we knew she was giving someone we couldn't yet see a hug. She called us out to the porch and standing there was Grumpy. Now, this doesn't seem too special, but Grumpy lived in Arizona and we lived in New Jersey. Grumpy also would not ever get on a plane. He'd driven his VW Rabbit convertible nearly 2400 miles to see us. His visit is still so fresh in my memory and I'm grateful for it. He stayed with us for a couple weeks, then drove home. It wasn't until years later, after he passed away that I found out that not only was he a step, but he and my Great Gram had divorced before that visit. To him, we were his grandbabies and he wanted to see us. Of all the family on that side, he's truly the one I knew best because he made the effort to be in our lives. I tell my own boys stories of Grumpy, even 36 years after the fact because it's so special to me.
10-27-2016 01:00 AM
My Gramma on my mom's side. She was a very quiet woman. She was a strong woman. She had the softest smoothest skin ever!! She made the best roast beef and gravy, and blueberry pie I have ever eaten from anyone or anywhere. She taught me how to pick tomatoes when they were perfectly ready. And, she had a large henhouse on their farm, and she taught me how to gather the eggs in her huge egg basket. She was such a sweet lady.❤️️Love ya Gramma!❤️
10-27-2016 01:13 AM
My Moms parents died young (28, and 47) of heart disease. I never met them. But I did know my Moms Step Mom (my Nana). Yes I have fond memories of her. I spent a lot of time staying over at her house, baking cookies with her etc etc. In fact she died after my Mom. (My Mom died young of heart disease). My Nana left my brother and I her house and belongs when she passed away.
Then there was my Italian Grandparents. My Italian Grandmom could only speak a bit of English to get by. My Italian Grandfather spoke English and Italian. My fond memories of them are going there every Sunday for spaghetti dinners (It was all home made, even the pasta) Delicious!
10-27-2016 01:21 AM
My maternal grandparents lived a half mile from us in Chicago. We attended the same church, whichwas a block from our house, so every Sunday we met them there and then went to WHITE CASTLE for a burger breakfast. I also spoke in English to my "Busia" and she always spoke to me in Polish. We weren't quite bilingual but always understood each other. Picnics every summer weekend were a requirement and smoking Polish sausage was a great experience.
10-27-2016 08:18 AM
@nycgrl When I read your post it was like reading my own memory, we also lived with my nana she helped raise me also. She was the best miss her everyday. We lived in a New York in a three bedroom 1bathroom place. Great memories
@SirArthursMommy - My grandmother was "Nana" also and my grandfather was called "Gaga" because that's what I called him as a child and it stuck. Our apartment was so small - my mother and I shared 1 bedroom and my grandparents had the other. I have so many memories that flood me everyday. It's amazing how much happier we were with so much less than I find myself now, with so much more as far as material things, but they mean absolutely nothing to me without my family. My mother is up in age and not well and unfortunately I have no other family. Those really were the good "ole" days.
10-27-2016 08:55 AM
I did for sure.
On my mother's side, her parents of course were immigrants from what we called 'the old country' I get them them mixed up, but one was Austrian, the other was Czech. Both were stocky people, GMother was a wonderfully petite woman, short but hefty, exactly what you picture she would be. She spoke English but she never forgot her own language. Unfortunately, me and my sibs never had the blessed opportunity to even meet GFather let alone get to know him. Now this may creep out a few of you but we found pictures of him but they were of him after he died and laid arest in his casket. Perhaps way back when, this is what they did when loved ones passed. Maybe the photos were to be fond memories of him, and they were for me and sibs. He had a full head of snow white hair and a big bushy moustache. What a beautiful man he was. I so miss not having the opportunity to grow up with him. My oldest sib was 2 yrs old when GFather passed.
We certainly took full advantage of growing up with Dad's parents. GMother took great care of all 5 of her grand-daughters - yes 5 of us! One great memory was that every time a new Disney movie hit the screen, she always took all 5 of us to the movies. She also was a fabulous quilt maker. One year GMother made each of us, all 5 of us our very own applique quilt. GORGEOUS pieces of work she blessed us with! I was one of 5 lucky ones though - she made me another one that I begged her to do for me because it was spectacular! It was a floral applique with every color of the rainbow in the flowers.
GMother was a great very down to earth cook and a baker like you wouldn't believe.
GFather was a wonderful very loving man with us girls. Unfortunately he passed when I was only in the 3rd grade. Not too many memories but certainly lovely ones.
10-27-2016 09:03 AM
I never knew my maternal grandfather as he died before I was born. Grandma was kind of a stern person. My paternal grandparends and my Dad and Aunts and Uncles all immigrated from Italy. Grandma could hardly speak English, but Grandpa did because he was here 7 yrs before he had enough $$ to bring the rest of the family. But Grandma always showed her love for us! And could she cook!
One of the things I remember about Grandpa......they lived across the street from the town park. In those days before concession stands, he got an old delivery truck and made it into a popcorn stand and sold popcorn for all the baseball games at the park. He always gave us popcorn for free and we thought we were kings and queens! Also he had a wine making press in the basement! Loved the smell........I miss them and my Dad so much!
10-27-2016 09:15 AM
I never knew my paternal grandmother as she died before I was born. However, my oldest brother always told me "You look just like Grammy S." My paternal grandfather died when I was a baby so I don't remember him either.
My maternal grandmother spoke PA Dutch. When visiting her I remember always going in and excitedly asking her to speak Dutch to me. I loved it when she did that. Although she was usually busy cooking something she would take time out to sit down at the table with me and always talked in Dutch for several minutes. It was a one way conversation and I loved it. She was a wonderful grandmother and everyone loved her.
My maternal grandfather was an excellent carpenter and could make just about anything. He rarely threw anything away. Instead, he fixed it and it was always better after that than when it was new.
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