Friday, August 29, 2008

Laughter through the tears...

Last night my mom and sister did something really nice; they invited my two cousins for dinner whose father passed away several weeks ago. Remember now that these are 'technically' my dad's nephew's, but mom wanted to have them over. Once an aunt, always an aunt.

So, over they came these two grown men who we all remember as being little boys. We really stopped being close as a family once my sister and I hit our teens, mostly because of my parents divorce. But I digress, they came over and while cleaning out their father's house stumbled across a treasure chest worth of pictures from the early years of our GRANDPARENTS lives! I mean, there were a lot of my dad and uncles, but the pictures of my grandparents, well, that is just priceless to me. It is a part of their lives that I don't ever remember knowing much about. My grandmother died when I was around 12 and grandpa died while I was pregnant with Nick - but being the self-absorbed person that I was, I didn't appreciate the time that I had with him as an adult. I cherish the memories I have of him from when I was a child, but I have great guilt about the opportunities missed when I got older.

I called over there last night and got to speak to my cousin John. It sent chills down my spine because when he first got on the phone he sounded exactly like his father and it took me a minute to recover. We talked for almost 30 minutes about our childhood memories, where our lives are at now, and all of these pictures that he had unearthed in the attic. I was so upset that I wasn't there to see them in person. My cousin Michael would not get on the phone. He is not coping well with life right now and so we don't push. I was just happy to get to talk with John and share some laughs.

Later last night, mom scanned some of these great pictures for me and sent them over. I was having computer issues last night and didn't get to see them until this morning. I cried. To see my grandparents again - so young - it just made me miss them even more. There were pictures of them as a young family and I had to stop and think about all that they had gone through since that time of innocence. Some made me smile because of the time period. Grandpa looked like something out of "The Godfather" in some of them and there was a picture of Nana in a bathing suit! So as I scanned them in to my own computer to have and went through them all very carefully, the last one caught my eye - mainly because it was in color. It is a family portrait (minus my mom) at one of my uncle's weddings circa 1982, I think. All I can say is that if any of you want to know what a maffia family looks like, ask me to send you this picture. I would post it but...well, I don't want to offend anyone. I just about wet my pants with laughter. What in the world were we thinking???

But I like the one that I did post. To my grandparents...who I still miss. To my aunt and uncle who are no longer with us. And a thanks to my cousin John for being willing to share these memories with us. What I wouldn't give to get my hands on that box of pictures and scrapbook them and preserve them!!

No comments: