Tomorrow is Grandparents Day. I miss my grandparents--including the great grandparents I knew--but I'm not sad.
They're with me every day. Sure, I can't see them or talk to them, but I don't have to look far to see how they have touched my life. Over the mantle of our fireplace sits a portrait of my great, great, great grandfather. We don't look much alike, but if one looks closely at the set of my eyes and then looks at the portrait, there is a definite resemblance. I have his eyes.
We have a china cabinet, and in the cabinet on the top shelf sits a platter. That platter belonged to my great grandmother on my mother's side, and I think of her when I see it. I wonder what she would think of my cooking when I serve food from it.
I remember my great grandpa Beck. I got a pair of his shoes after he died, and they fit like they were made for me. It seems I have his feet. I don't plan to give them back... My great grandmother, Grandma Beck, taught me how to crochet. I don't do it anymore, but I still remember how. I have cookbooks from my grandmother on my mother's side. I've cooked a couple of those dishes and although I know they're not quite the way she made them, I still like to make them.
On one of the walls in the staircase in my house there is a counted cross stitch sampler. My great great great great grandmother made it in 1836. When I look at it, part of her is with me.
There are a couple of my grandfather's degrees hanging on the walls in our house. I like to look at them because I think they're cool. I'll confess I'm glad one tradition stopped somewhere along the line--on my grandfather's high school diploma, they listed his grades by subject! He got excellent grades, but someday his great grandson (my nephew) might ask about that B-, and I won't know what to say.
I miss my grandparents and great grandparents. I miss the ones I knew, and I miss the ones I didn't know. I'm thinking of them, but not with sadness. I'm thinking of them with gratitude. I can look in the mirror and see legacies they left me. I can see the parts of them that became me. It's cool; it's life.