I watched the movie The Proposal last night and in that movie, the grandmother is played by Betty White. She has a line about how grandparents like to pass things on to their grandchildren because it makes them feel they'll always be a part of their lives.
That made me think of my grandparents. I can't imagine what I would be like without them. First of all, I inherited physical characteristics, like my hips and my hair and my nose. I once saw a photo of one grandmother from her childhood and I saw myself immediately. Granted, not every photo is like that, but this one was and just one photo is enough to warm my heart and make me feel a part of her family deep down inside.
I inherited personality from my grandparents, too. Maybe a lot of it is from my environment, I'm not sure. I do things and say things and maybe even think things that they thought or the way they acted. I can always think of a couple things right off the top of my head that come from one grandmother. The other grandmother taught me things - how to do things like crochet, knit, sew (I'm not good at any of these) and she taught me how to make candles. Plus, I think she is the first adult who let me use a knife in the kitchen.
I wanted to cut a cucumber. She said, "You won't cut yourself, will you?" I shook my head and said no.
Naturally, I cut myself. She handled it extremely well. Let's face it, she knew I was going to cut myself, didn't she?
A good part of all this is that here I am at 44 (and for the rest of my life) still rolling around in the warmth and love and bliss of being their granddaughter. They're all gone now, but I blog about my grandpa shouting at the television, watching Hee Haw at their house and how one decorated Christmas trees and the other wouldn't.
When my last grandparent passed and the house was cleaned out, my precious late father brought to me two old, chipped and completely useless (from use and age) cereal bowls. He thought I would want them. To you, you'd see junk. Bowls you can't eat out of anymore.
Me? I see my grandpa eating breakfast on a Saturday morning.
Eight years ago, I went on a trip and stopped to see my father's cousin. She told me stories about my grandmother, her favorite aunt, that I hadn't heard before. And before I left, she gave me one piece from my great grandmother's china set. One piece! One of the best plates in the world, that. I was so happy that night, I could hardly fall asleep.
Yesterday, I went to a flea market with a friend and I found a sugar bowl and creamer from my grandma's china set that she used for every day. I snapped that up in my hands faster than my brain could process the thought. I would have paid almost any price for it, too. I got both pieces for $8.95.
And what is that all about? That's grandparents for you. I was a cherished granddaughter and you could never convince me otherwise. I never stop wanting to draw all four of them close to me, soaking them into me, into who I am for the rest of my life.