How cool would it be to time travel? To have the opportunity to talk to someone who survived a war or lived through your favorite time period. Believe it or not this wealth of knowledge, if you are lucky, is just a phone call or visit away. I am talking about grandparents. As a 24-year-old, talking to my grandparents is my favorite pass time. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about my grandparents. I call them every single day. Unfortunately, some of us are not fortunate enough to have grandparents to call. Too often grandparents, who literally are placed into the world to love and spoil you, are taken too soon.
I have always appreciated my grandparents. After all, I owe a large part of my bargain shopping habits to my grandma and an even larger part of my hammock obsession to my grandpa. There is nothing like the soft touch of a grandpa’s hand or the listening ear of your grandmother after a long day. All too often I think kids under-appreciate grandparents by thinking they’ll be around forever. You never know how much time you have left with anyone, whether they are young or old.
As I have grown up, I have changed from the little girl idolization of my grandparents to an adult version of it. Instead of just talking about myself, which I still do, I ask about their life to truly understand them. My interest lately has been in my grandpa. My pop has always been a quiet one, and I know this guy. I have known him my entire life, but this past weekend I realized there is so much more to know about this 86-year-old man besides just the fact that he is my grandpa. He is possibly the coolest person in the entire world.
Because my grandparents have just moved in with my parents from Florida all of their personal items are now in a storage unit. I decided to join my mom in scouring the unit for a set of sheets but instead found a bag full of photo albums. In lieu of helping, clearly, I prioritized getting the photos back to the house. Now I had absolutely no idea what was in this bag but when I opened it I was delighted to find their wedding albums; there is nothing like seeing your grandma and grandpa 59 years ago eating cake and throwing flowers. There is also nothing like finding scrap books your grandpa made before he even met your grandma. Scrapbooks from his time overseas when he was in the army, filled with pictures of Italy, France and Germany.
So I busied myself on the floor, looking at the scrapbook in absolute awe while realizing that in 1954 he had the foresight to write everything down and have a scrapbook made from the pictures he took.
Not to mention he was a babe! Suddenly, my pop of little words said to me, “Jessy sometime we’ll look at it together and I’ll explain it to you.” I of course figured no better time than the present and jumped into the chair next to him ready for my education.
We were there for a while, long enough for my other family members to wonder what on earth we were doing. For me however, it felt like absolutely no time at all. I not only received a personalized history lesson but a cultural lesson and a trip through Europe. He told me about his time in Germany, he told me in clear vivid memories about his friends and the dare-devil behavior he would get into. I got to see Pompeii, The Leaning Tower of Pisa and plenty of other places in Italy.
I realized something then. How many stories go untold because grandparents were underestimated? How much wisdom and advice leaves the world before given the chance to spread and educate? Too much. If you are fortunate enough to still have grandparents give them a call. Spend more than five minutes talking to them and make sure it’s not just about their health. And if you sadly don’t have them anymore give them a thought. Let’s appreciate the knowledge that is available personally, let’s connect with these old souls full of experience, and let’s realize that grandparents are people still, that had a full life before spoiling and loving you.