of grandparents and me

I was playing around on Geni.com today, looking at the ol’ family tree, when it rather hit me: I don’t have any more grandparents. Grammie and Leo died one day after the other (respectively) in 2006, Laverne—whom I never knew—died in 1997, and Poppy died in 1994.

Poppy wasn’t himself the latter years of his life; he was really drained and listless in my memories. Sadly, those are the most vibrant memories I have, as I was older and more apt to remember things than when I was younger and Poppy was one of my only playmates. I really hope I can hold onto those older memories as long as I can, maybe by writing them down? Angelbiscuit did that with MJR to make sure she remembers the sadly few memories she made (before he passed away last month).

I have pictures in family albums of a wee me sitting with Laverne (Hodges, my father’s mother), but I have zero recollection of those times. Unfortunately, that’s it. Passing away in 1997, seven years before I got in touch with Leo, I have no memories, no stories, and no information on my paternal grandmother aside from a few 20-year-plus-old pictures. Maybe that’s easier; it feels a bit like a waste, but I’m not saddened really, just bummed.

I lived across the street from my grandmother until I was seven, and with her until I was eighteen and moved into the UK Wesley Foundation. Of grandparents, I knew her the best, and find myself missing the most. Grammie maintained her faculties through the majority of her senior years, and only in the last year or so seemed to become less and less aware of her surroundings and their significance. Despite this, she was always excited and eager to have me and Angelbiscuit visit, and was always proud of my life and accomplishments. I orate poorly, but suffice to say: I miss Grammie.

AP called me the morning of December 4, 2006 on my way to work to let me know that Grammie had died. I called family and friends to pass along the news, and was shocked to learn from my father’s cousin that Leo—my paternal grandfather—had died the day before Grammie. I was guiltier than saddened by Leo’s death as I’d made such a poor initiative to get to know him. I first found him in Spring 2004, and Angelbiscuit and I invited him to our wedding that August. I gather that he enjoyed his visit even though our time together was limited. We spoke again a few times, but nothing of consequence until it was too late.

I lived so much of my life in a certain set of familial parameters: Grammie and Poppy were my grandparents, my mother constituted “my parents”, and my siblings are ridiculously older than I. I had/have no bias against my paternal family, but it’s not a standard feature of my worldview, and as such doesn’t play into my everyday functioning.

I have a letter from my father in our “office” (read: computer room), and hopefully I’ll scribe a reply before week’s end. I’ve had awesome family, and I’ve had crappy family, and I’d like to claim any chance I have to get more of the former before I have fewer.