What Kind Of Relationship Did You (Or Do You) Have With Your Grandparents?

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by PeterG, Apr 1, 2012.

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This Poll Is Multiple Choice For Multiple Questions

  1. I Never Met Any Of My Grandparents

    3 vote(s)
    2.4%
  2. I Met Only One Grandparent

    11 vote(s)
    8.9%
  3. I Met Two Of My Grandparents

    16 vote(s)
    12.9%
  4. I Met Three Of My Grandparents

    31 vote(s)
    25.0%
  5. I Met Four Of My Granparents

    22 vote(s)
    17.7%
  6. I Met/Have Or Had More Than Four Grandparents!

    9 vote(s)
    7.3%
  7. I Had Wonderful Realtionships With All Of My Grandparents

    50 vote(s)
    40.3%
  8. I Had Both Good and Bad Relationships With My Grandparents

    32 vote(s)
    25.8%
  9. I Did Not Have Good Relationships With Any Of My Grandparents... :(

    2 vote(s)
    1.6%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    I have been meaning to start a thread like this for about three years. Better late than never. :lol: One reason I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences is because three of my four grandparents died before I was born. And my Dad's Mom seemed kind of..."out of it". I don't remember her having much of an impact on my life. When I was younger, we would stay at her home sometimes and I hardly remember having much interaction with her. I can't remember anything specific about being with her, except that she was physically there. Maybe she was not really mentally there?

    In my later teens, she moved closer to our family and I would leave school early (free period for the last one of the day), take transit into town and visit with her before getting a ride home with my Mom (who worked in the elementary school next door to the group home where Grandma lived). Again, I hardly remember much about those visits. I'm thinking I just wanted to get away from high school as well as avoid the bus rides home.

    I also wonder about how some people not only met most or all of their grandparents, but have many memories of them. And even better, those grandparents played a positive role in their lives. My mind goes blank when I try to imagine something like that. I wonder if some people have really good lives because they had one or more grandparents who were a positive enough presence in their lives that it gave them a strong foundation to build a good life upon. Part of me thinks I should be jealous of those people. But I feel kind of numb instead.

    But I would love to hear stories from people who had great grandparents. Even though those stories might make me sad, I think it will help me realize that maybe I haven't accomplished as much as others because I didn't really have much of a support system around me. And being able to see things a little clearer in this respect means in some way I can cut myself some more slack for not being where I could have been otherwise.

    I'm interested in hearing all your stories though. Maybe some of you met all of our grandparents and had relationships with them...but those relationships were not good. Maybe we can start an FSU support group around this. Big hugs to you if you're one of those people!

    So what's your grandparents story? How many of them did you meet? What was good about your relationship with them? What sucked? Any other thoughts or comments you have are welcomed.

    P.S. I'm going to include a poll with this thread. It will be multiple choice as the poll won't be one question with an either/or type of answer. So look over the choices before you click submit!! :D
     
    Rob, Cornfed, IceAlisa and 4 others like this.
  2. michiruwater

    michiruwater Well-Known Member

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    Two of my grandparents died before I was born.

    My mother's father was, from what I hear, a deranged, emotionally abusive man who drank himself into permanent short-term memory loss before I was born. I 'met' him once, if standing next to the shell of a man for a few minutes counts. I didn't count it in the poll. He died a little over 2 years ago.

    My mother's mother was a wonderful Grandparent and I loved her very much. She was an absolutely amazing cook and baker. Every year for Christmas we got a huge tin of baked good from her. She used to make us pasties every single year and I have her recipe now. She had a huge garden at her house and as kids we used to run around in it, pulling out fresh carrots and strawberries and bringing them in to wash and eat with her. She died in December 2010. I miss her, especially since I started taking a serious interest in both baking and gardening about two years ago, after she was already diagnosed with cancer and was rapidly failing. I'm sad I never had a chance to learn any of the things I am so interested in now from her. I wanted to learn to make those pasties with her, but mum and I learned together using the recipe instead. I think of her when I make them.
     
  3. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    I think you're great the way you are, right now, Peter :)

    I was raised by my grandma when I was young. We were very close and I have lots of great memories (she's passed on now). I was much closer to her than my parents. I don't think that's uncommon, though, since a lot of Native kids end up being raised by grandparents for one reason or another.
     
  4. manhn

    manhn Well-Known Member

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    Both my grandfathers passed away before I was born. My paternal grandfather died when my father was only ten. He seemed to be a good man with strong political beliefs. Meanwhile, my maternal grandfather was not a particularly nice man who treated his wives (yes, plural) rather poorly.

    Both of my grandmothers have both since passed but only fairly recently. I loved both of them dearly but language was always a barrier. My Vietnamese SUCKS and neither ever came close to mastering the English language when they immigrated to North America. Regardless, I always had a good time with them when I was around them. But I never had deep conversations with them like my older cousins had the opportunity. When I was a kid, I would watch game shows with them. We all loved The Price Is Right. Their favourite PiR game was Plinko.
     
  5. Louis

    Louis Tinami 2012

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    I met 3/4 grandparents, and I am/was closer to all three than to my parents.

    My paternal grandmother lived with us (one of many reasons my mom is a saint :lol: ). From her, I got my business sense, love of travel, strong will, and stubbornness. The nagging voice inside my head is usually my grandmother and not either of my parents. :lol:

    My maternal grandparents lived a couple of miles away. I was the first grandchild, and they were young (40s) and had raised all girls. They took me everywhere and showed me off to everyone. I can thank my maternal grandmother for self-esteem and balance (I often wonder if her influence is part of the difference between me and my sister), and I can thank my grandfather for his emphasis on education and his political influences. :lol:

    My life would have been so much emptier wthout my grandparents.

    On the other hand, two of my great-grandparents were alive into my teenage years. I never had a close relationship with either, thanks to nasty family dynamics.
     
  6. Dave of the North

    Dave of the North Well-Known Member

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    I don't remember my father's father - he died when I was three, but I remember going on the plane to his funeral.

    My mother's parents were the typical grandparents that everyone should have - hospitable, kind, etc. Always looked forward to visiting them, especially in the summer because they had a great summer place.

    Coincidentally today my brother sent an email - the paper had reprinted an article from 1919 where WW I soldiers had been welcomed home - and my grandfather was on the list - he had arrived in Halifax on March 27 (his 21st birthday) then they took the train to Charlottetown and were welcomed with a reception the next day. My grandfather served from 1915 on - he added a year to his age and went to NB to enlist - he never talked about the war.

    My father's mother was an interesting (though not lovable) woman - she was well educated, was a painter, and came from a well-to-do family. She traveled a lot - there's a picture of her in 1912 sitting on a camel in Egypt. But she was selfish and a bit of a snob. She was rather deaf in her later years and sometimes she would pretend to be deafer than she was. One Christmas my Dad called her and she either didn't have her hearing aid in or was pretending - Dad kept shouting louder and louder and my mother and I were :rofl: in the kitchen especially when Dad started to spell out his name.
     
  7. Amy L

    Amy L Well-Known Member

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    All four of my grandparents were alive until I was 21. Now I only have my maternal grandmother left. I was always pretty close to my mom's parents, they were the default babysitters when I was little. My dad always had a rough relationship with his parents, they were just awful people. We had a compulsory visit about once a year, and it got even less than that after my grandfather died and the relationship between my dad and Granny just got worse and worse. She had pretty much disowned him about a year before she died and the whole will/inheritance sh!t between him and my aunt really hit the fan. My dad still goes into convulsive fits of rage whenever the subject of his family comes up!

    My parents knew each other since they were about 10 years old. My mom and uncle are very close in age, they were only a year apart in school. My dad was in the same class as my uncle (one year below my mom). My dad was astounded by my mom's parents, they were polite, loving, and very generous - - the total opposite of his parents. He and my uncle weren't even that close of friends, but he kept hanging around because he loved my uncle's/mom's parents and wished they were his. He fell in love with his in-laws waaaay before he fell in love with my mom. :lol:

    I was also very close to one of my great-grandmothers (my mom's mom's mom). She died when I was 9, and that was the first really big death in the family. Even now, more than 20 years later, that's still the most devastated about anything I've ever been.
     
  8. Wyliefan

    Wyliefan Well-Known Member

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    I'm sorry you didn't get to have more grandparent relationships, PeterG.

    My grandfathers were both AWESOME. Beyond awesome. I didn't get to see them as often as any of us would have liked, since we often lived pretty far away, but I adored them. Neither of them was what you'd call demonstrative, but they were both loving and supportive. They're both gone now -- 18 and 12 years ago, respectively -- and I still miss them both like crazy.

    Legend has it that both of them had titanic tempers in their younger days -- that generation of Italian men usually did, I'm told -- but fortunately they'd both mellowed out by the time I came along! :) And even in those days, I think they were really good guys. Both of my parents were very close to their fathers.

    My dad's mother was . . . how shall I put this? . . . not very nice. I did my duty to her as best I could, but it was usually very draining.

    My mom's mother is still alive. She . . . well, she tries. She can be very negative and critical -- I don't usually get the brunt of it, but my mom does, and that's very hard to watch. But we've had a fairly decent relationship, all told.
     
  9. ks1227

    ks1227 Well-Known Member

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    I knew all four of my grandparents quite well. My maternal grandmother is still alive, and my paternal grandmother just recently died. Actually, when I was born, seven of my eight great-grandparents and one great-great-grandmother were still alive; and I can remember five of my great-grandparents. A lot of them lived a very long time, which I guess is good for me statistically. (Then again, some of them lived a little more "wholesomely" than I do or would want to. :shuffle: )

    I had pretty good relationships with all four of my grandparents and even lived with some of them for interim periods (long story, mostly good). However, it got more complicated after I came out, at least with my paternal grandfather who was still alive (the other died before I came out). Even then, there were some positive dimensions to that relationship; but I enjoyed seeing him less and less. I always enjoy/ed seeing my grandmothers however.

    But one negative side to having so many grandparents who lived a long time is watching them go downhill. My maternal grandmother, who is still alive, is the one I was closest to without question for most of my life. Unfortunately, she now has a lot of health problems including memory problems that have been bad and are growing worse. And she lives with my parents, who are nearing retirement themselves; so her problems are starting to become a burden for them, especially my mother/her daughter. The other grandmother was also very frail during her last year (she died at 97, as did her husband before her).
     
  10. Nomad

    Nomad Well-Known Member

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    I had a good relationship with three of my grandparents. My paternal grandfather had no use for me because I had no interest in sports or card games; if he ever said anything to me when we went to visit, I don't remember it. I got along fine with my father's mother, however. She was a feisty lady and told great stories. I lived my mother's parents for two years when I was in my mid-teens. That grandmother was also a character - she came from a wealthy, artsy family (she was a trained concert pianist and one of her sisters was leading lady at the State Theater in Dresden for at least a decade). She, too, had a wealth of fascinating stories. My grandfather was a genial, social kind of guy but a terrible businessman. He owned a brick factory and yet managed to go bankrupt after WW2, when Germany was rebuilding and bricks were in demand.
     
  11. JasperBoy

    JasperBoy Well-Known Member

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    I knew my maternal grandparents very well. We were good friends, and I particularly looked up to my grandfather. I still try to please him, and he has been dead 55 years!
    My paternal grandfather lived to be 100. He was a joker, a rough and ready guy with a heart of gold. He lived too far away for me to know him well, but he was always cheerful and wrote non stop letters to all his family. My paternal grandmother died when I was 4.

    Now I am a grandmother. I try to model my actions after those of my grandparents. It is delightful to have a close relationship with my grandchildren. I try to enrich their lives and experiences, as well as giving them another viewpoint on the world.

    Oh, and my mother is still alive, nearly 100 years old. The grandchildren know her and like her, although she is a bit vague at times. She has ensured that they will have funding for their university education. A good example for everyone, and we all try to pass it forward.
     
  12. genegri

    genegri Active Member

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    I met all four of my grandparents and had great relationships with them all. I, and indeed all my cousins, were apples in their eyes, duly doted on and spoiled rotten. I lived with my paternal grandparents for a few years when I was very young. Then lived with my maternal side for a few years. The two sides lived continents apart and I traveled long trips with my parents between them during summers.

    All four of my grandparents lived through extraordinary hardships in their times, wars, persecution from governments, famine, difficult family dynamics, loss of loved ones. Like many from that generation their life stories read like a novel.

    Now, only my maternal grandmother is still living. She will celebrate her 101st birthday this coming May 31st according to Chinese calendar.
     
  13. victorskid

    victorskid Skating supporter

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    I was an only child, born when my parents were 31.

    My maternal grandparents lived 35 miles away from us when I was young. We had regular weekend trips to visit them and they came to stay at our house on holidays and special occasions. I spent time with them by myself on a number of occasions and have lots of great memories of doing things with each of them.

    My paternal grandparents lived in the same town that we lived in and we routinely had Sunday supper at their house. They often welcomed me for an evening when my parents had to go out. Again, lots of good memories of doing things at their house/with them. I believe my grandmother was agoraphobic as she never left their property (until her final illness) but I remember my grandfather coming out for drives with us, etc.

    When I was 12 both of my grandmothers died (at our home) within 6 weeks of each other - my maternal grandmother very suddenly while they were visiting; my paternal grandmother while being cared for by my mother.

    Within a year both of my grandfathers had sold their homes and moved in with us. Each had a variety of health problems over the ensuing years and both died, again within a 6 week span, when I was 20. They both died in the local hospital.

    Being a teenager with elderly grandfathers in the household was not the greatest situation but I really don't have any bad memories.

    My biggest regret is not asking questions/paying more attention to the family stories - that would have aided me in later years when I got into family history research.

    One of my maternal great-grandmothers was alive until just after I turned 2 - I have photos of me sitting in her lap but have no memories of her.
     
  14. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    My maternal grandmother died before I was born, and my maternal grandfather died when I was 10 or 11. My paternal grandparents died when I was in my late 20s, and I had much more of a relationship with them. They weren't really "kid" people, though, so we weren't super close.

    My mother told me a nice story about my grandmother after she died, though. I've been overweight since I was a teenager. My mom was talking to my grandmother about how she was concerned about my size (I was a size 12 at the time), and my grandmother told her not to worry and I was a beautiful girl. :) I learned later that my grandmother had been overweight for a lot of her life, and her sister gave her hell about it. It made me feel closer to her.

    My nephew is going to be ALL ABOUT his grandparents. My mom is his primary caretaker since both his parents work, and he's very attached to his nana.
     
  15. aka_gerbil

    aka_gerbil Rooting for the Underdogs

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    3 out of 4 of my grandparents have been a big part of my life and I've had wonderful relationships with all. All lived within 10 minutes of the house I grew up in, so I saw them all of the time. I'm actually caring for my paternal grandmother at the moment while I'm (still) looking for something in my field.

    The grandparent that's not part of my life is my maternal grandfather. He wasn't part of my mom's or her sibling's lives either while they were growing up, and although I have been around him, when I add my grandparents, he never seems to make the total. My wonderful, wonderful, most wonderful paternal grandfather more than made up for it though. He passed away about 12 years ago, when I was still in college

    My maternal grandfather is still living, but my maternal grandmother died a year and a half ago. She could be an absolute pain to deal with in her older years (although, it's all sort of funny now), but was one of the most special people I ever knew. I miss her (and my one grandfather) like crazy.
     
  16. ChelleC

    ChelleC Well-Known Member

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    Counting my step-grandparents, I've had six grandparents in my life. At one time or another I've had a good relationship with all of them.

    I was always the closest to my maternal grandparents. My grandmother was quite frankly, a bit of a bitch, but never to me. It was my mother and my grandfather who she was bitchy to. We always said if there was anyone in this world she loved, it was me and her nephew. While, I didn't always like her, I loved Mamaw dearly. She died two years ago tomorrow of lung cancer. :(

    My maternal grandfather and I were always extremely close. He was the closest thing I had to a father for most of time I was growing up. When he died in December, a friend of my remarked about how fortunate I'd been to have him in my life for 34 years. That is so true, and it's rather remarkable. He had a heart attack in 1965, when he was around 36-37 years old. The doctors told him at the time that 5 years would be a long life. He was 84 when he died.
     
  17. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

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    I only knew my mother's mother. My father's parents died long before I was born (his mother died when he was very little-I'm not sure he even remembers her) and his father died...I *think* before my parents even met. However, they were both born in either the late 1880s or early 1890s (it's not certain) so they would have been very old and probably would have died when I was young anyway. My mother's father drowned ice-fishing two years before I was born. (Someone fishing near his group went through, and he and his friends saved the first man, but they all drowned.) So I only knew my mother's mother. I don't know if I'd say it was good or bad. When I was little, I guess it was good. She was very financially generous. When I was older, it wasn't especially close. We were her only relatives and my parents did right by her, even after she wasn't mentally competent. She wasn't all that nice before she became demented, though, and it was pretty much a relief when she died.

    I did know my mother's grandmother for a while. Not well, as she was already old enough she was in a home and not quite mentally all there (not so far gone though that you could get away with calling her Russian-she was Ukrainian, and at the end of her life she sometimes remembered Ukrainian better than English.)
     
  18. attyfan

    attyfan Well-Known Member

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    My maternal grandfather died while my mom was carrying me. Mom wanted to name me after him; dad wanted his children to have Bible names (with at least the first initial the same); and dad won the coin toss.

    My paternal grandfather was wonderful; he thought all of his grandchildren were perfect. He was a union organizer in the '20s; I got my interest in justice and social action from him, I think. He died when I was about 12.

    My relationships with both grandmothers changed over time. My paternal grandmother was wonderful when I was small, but as I got older, she got rather annoying because she was so traditional. When I was diagnosed with epilepsy at age 13, she thought I was seriously ill; she later tried to talk me into becoming a legal secretary instead of a lawyer. She died about 20 years ago. My relationship with my maternal grandmother, by contrast, got better as I grew older; she was much stricter when I was young, but as I grew older, I appreciated how she joined with my parents in encouraging me to be independent and educated. She loved classical art and music; I think of her when my husband and I go to the symphony.
     
  19. PeterG

    PeterG Argle-Bargle-ist

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    Wow, I'm loving hearing everyone's stories! Hope to get to hear a lot more. And if anyone who has posted have more to add later on, I hope you will share! :40beers:

    Yikes, the idea of having great-grandparents in one's life is something I can't even fathom. However, not having a relationship with them is very :wuzrobbed....

    Thanks Wyliefan. I think I'm starting to get that this is something that I need to grieve, but I'm stuck on the part of having to grieve something which I never had in the first place... :confused: ;)

    :eek: :D
     
  20. Buzz

    Buzz Well-Known Member

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    I would have to say I never met any of my grandparents.
     
  21. vesperholly

    vesperholly Well-Known Member

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    My friend is 30 and her great-grandmother just died a few weeks ago. :eek: That's either some long-living genes, or they got to birthin' young!
     
  22. lmarie086

    lmarie086 Well-Known Member

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    My maternal grandfather died when I was 10, but for the most part I think we had a good relationship. I was shy around him when I was little-for some reason there were times that I just didn't want to talk to him, and I know it broke his heart cause he asked Mom what he could do to get me to like him :( She told him that he just had to let me come to him, and sure enough it worked! I still miss him; he was a great man for many different reasons, and he did not play the favorite grandchildren game, unlike...

    My maternal grandmother....I have a lot of resentment toward her, and I feel bad saying anything as she suffers from Alzheimer's now. We've just never gotten along well, and I don't think she was ever a good person (a few stories of :eek: proportions have been revealed re: her treatment of my Mom and my Dad, whom she hates). So explaining how I feel about her might take awhile lol.
    I am the second youngest granddaughter, and grew up with many cousins, most of whom didn't have the best track records in high school (aka not finishing), but she couldn't do enough to help them out. She'd buy them houses and cars, and then she also bought my Uncle (her son with poor work ethic who can't keep a job, doesn't pay his child support and spends all his money on alcohol) a rather expensive boat as encouragement for getting a new job. Anyway, I did really well in high school and got into a good college, and am essentially the first in my family to go directly from high school to pursuing a degree. On my 18th birthday during senior year, she said she wanted to give me $1000 each year of college to reward my good work (but I had to keep my grades up). My family and I never asked her to do that, but she insisted she wanted to. Well, my first semester was just weeks away and she still hadn't given me the money. When Mom asked about it, Grandma backtracked and said that she wasn't going to give me money because we didn't need it and my Dad made more than enough money to support me for whatever I needed. Dad does make decent money, but he's not rich by any means even though she's convinced herself that he is. I also think she resents him because he has never needed her for help financially (a first for her) and she can't stand it, IMO.
    But so, I had just started a new job and didn't have the money to buy my books yet, and I didn't want to have to use Dad's money. So it was upsetting that just days later Uncle got his really nice, brand new boat, which we all knew he didn't have the money for. Mom let Grandma know how disappointed in her she was and that it wasn't about the money we did or did not have, it was about the promise that she was willfully breaking to her granddaughter. Grandma cried and tried to make my Mom feel bad for being mad at her, but it didn't work, and Grandma did end up giving me the money. It was the only time she has, and I never brought it up for following school years, because I know better now than to hope she'll keep a promise to me. It wasn't so much that I wanted the money, I just wanted her to keep the promise she made.
    I already had rather negative feelings toward her growing up; in elementary school she told me I looked like a boy, and then as an awkward preteen she told me I was ugly. She also consistently made Mom believe she was stupid (and I've been trying to convince Mom for years that she is not), and she insinuated that she thought my Dad would leave my Mom once my brother and I were adults living on our own. So now even though I hate the disease she has, I can't seem to want to be close to her, which is sad.

    Dad's parents have always been great; I was a bit shy with them as well as a child, but they too let me come to them on my own and I've had a good relationship with them since. I taught them how to text last year cause they were teasing me for being so bad at calling them while I'm at school, and I've saved some pretty hilarious texts from them. Whenever I'm home for winter break, I always make sure I make a trip or two to see them before they go to Florida for Christmas. And we see each other pretty regularly over the summer. They're very low key people, but given what my Mom's side of the family is like, I couldn't love them any more for it.
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  23. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    We have great-great-grandparents still hanging on.
     
  24. Prancer

    Prancer The "specialness" that is Staff Member

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    I was born rather late to my parents. My mother's father was long dead and my father's mother died when I was very small, so I don't remember her.

    My mother's mother died when I was 18; I visited her regularly while I was groing up, but I wouldn't say we were close. My mom's father died when my mom was 13 and my grandma couldn't support all their kids by herself, so she farmed all but the two youngest out to relatives and moved to Ohio to work. She and my mother were never close (my mom was much closer to her dad to begin with) and she didn't approve of the way that I was raised, so while there was no animosity there, there wasn't any closeness, either. She was never very healthy when I knew her, so my main memories of her are of her sitting in her easy chair and wheezing gently. She did leave me some things in her will, which surprised me, and I do think of her when I use them.

    My father's father died when I was about 12, but he and my father weren't close, either, for a lot of reasons. Grandpa was also sick a lot; he had damaged his lungs working in the coal mines when he was a teenager and he was a five-pack-a-day smoker. My main memories of him are of him sitting in a chair somewhere (he lived in several places--my aunt's, two VA centers, a cousin's--that I remember and probably some I don't), a cigarette always in hand, usually right next to his oxygen tank.:rolleyes: He never had much use for my dad and vice versa, so we made occasional duty visits and that was about it. I didn't even recognize him in some pictures I came across a while back.

    My own dad died before my kids were born and my mom died when they were five and three; my son remembers my mom a little, but my daughter remembers nothing except watching Disney videos at my mom's house and sneaking candy out of a certain jar. My husband's parents are still alive, but I expect that my kids will only remember them as fragile, fussy, rather daffy old people.
     
  25. Really

    Really No longer just a "well-known member" Yay!

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    My mom and dad moved out to Alberta from Ontario before I was born. I was 5 when I first met my dad's parents, and 16 when I met my mom's mother. My paternal grandfather died when I was about 12 -- I only saw him 3 times, I think. I saw my grandmother a few more times after he died and she did come west for my wedding. I only ever saw my maternal grandmother 3 times, which is really too bad because she was a wonderfully funny, crusty French-speaking woman whom everyone adored.

    My mother remarried when I was 13, and my stepdad's parents accepted us as their grandchildren. Granny died when I was 18, but Grandpa lived many more years; we lost him only 3 years ago. We do have a photo of 'five generations,' albeit 'step' -- my granddaughter, my daughter, me, my step-dad, and "Old Grandpa." He was a character too -- he immigrated from Ireland with his parents when he was in his teens, and he worked extremely hard to give his family a good life. He also worked extremely hard to hang onto that Irish accent! ;)

    I regret that my 'natural' grandparents were so far away when I was a child; I'm having so much fun with my own grandchildren, I can't imagine only ever seeing them 3 or 4 times in my life!

    Thanks for starting this thread, Peter! It's great to read everyone's experiences!
     
    PeterG and (deleted member) like this.
  26. oleada

    oleada Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    28,321
    Both my grandfathers died long before I was born.

    My paternal grandmother died when I was six (I'm 24 now). She had suffered several strokes at this point, and couldn't speak and needed a lot of home care. She lived with us. Given that I was a little kid, and she was quite ill, we didn't have much of a relationship, if any. She also wouldn't like my brother and I to go into her room much, but would let my sister, who was a toddler at the time, to come in all the time and crawl all over her bed. She really favored my sister, but I try not to take that very personally given how sick she was toward the end of her life. (Funnily enough, my sister really takes after my dad's side of the family, lookswise, so I wonder if that had anything to do with it).

    My maternal grandmother is still living. She just turned 80. She's always been there, but I can't say we have a close relationship. She took the attitude that she had already raised 7 kids and had no desire to raise grandchildren, so she never really played or interacted much with us when we were little (my mom has so many issues with this). She's very sweet, and obviously cares a lot about us, but there is somewhat of a disconnect. I also think she was depressed for many years after my grandfather died, so I don't think that helped matters, either.

    Overall, I've always longed for a grandparent who I could really relate to and would take more of an active roll in my life. I'd see people drive their grandkids to dance class or take them Disney World or whatever, but I've never had that. Even a really good conversation would be nice.
     
  27. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2002
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    18,917
    I knew both my paternal and maternal grandparents well plus a great grandmother (father's side) and 1 step grandfather. All but one were alive until I was in my late 20's, early 30's. My great grandmother spoke only Canadian French but somehow we communicated. :lol: She was a very old fashioned sort of woman - always wore dresses with lace collars, a necklace and earrings. I don't ever remember seeing her without her hair coiffed and her very tiffing cane.

    I was closest to my paternal grandmother and spent a lot of time with her, especially after my grandfather died. For some reason my sister never liked her but I don't know why - I adored her and still buy Safeguard bar soap to this day because it reminds me of the smell in her bathroom. Also love the tick-tock of a wind-up Big Ben alarm clock because it used to lull me to sleep in her bedroom. :lol:
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2012
  28. ballettmaus

    ballettmaus Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Messages:
    1,691
    I knew/know maternal and paternal grandparents and both played a huge part in my childhood. My paternal grandparents were living like 10 minutes by car from us, so my grandmother often baby-sat when my parents were out and during summer vacation I spent a lot of time with them because they had a huge garden. Also, when I was sick my paternal grandmother would take care of me when my parents had to work.
    My maternal grandparents were living further away but I had a lot of sleep-overs at their place. They only had a one bedroom apartment but a sleeping sofa and my granddad would always move out of the bedroom for me so I could sleep in the big bed with my grandmother and he slept on the sofa. They also took me to their caravan several times when I was on vacation.

    Funny thing is, my paternal granddad always scared me a bit because he seemed kind of an authoritarian figure, large build, too. My paternal grandmother was the complete opposite.
    And it was the other way around with my maternal grandparents; my grandmother always seemed more strict than my grandfather. At 75 he's still a boy in disguise!

    My paternal grandmother passed away in 2005, at 89, the first true loss I experienced. (not counting the pets I lost even though I cried like hell when they died!)
    My great-grandmother died when I was 6, I don't have any memories of her though. And my maternal grandfather's father died only recently though he wasn't in contact with the family anymore so I didn't even know he still existed until after his death.
    My great-aunt died in 2002. When I was a child, she was almost like another grandmother to me but she got dementia and the relationship sort of fell apart and she spent her last years in a nursing home so her death didn't hit me as hard as my grandmother's.

    I consider myself truly blessed when it comes to my grandparents, not only because I had the privilege of knowing them all and having all of them around for almost 25 years of my life but also because of how they loved me and all the time I got to spend with them and the great memories I have!
     
  29. Tinami Amori

    Tinami Amori Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2003
    Messages:
    9,595
    I Had Wonderful Realtionships With All Of My Grandparents! (and their brothers and sisters).
    (all 4 are survivors of Tzar times, Russian Revolution, Pogroms, WWII, Holocaust, Stalin purges, and immigration. All were over 58 years old when they came to the West, and retired not before they turned 70). Grandparents Rule!
     
  30. Angelskates

    Angelskates Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Messages:
    12,791
    My father's parents died before I was born, when my dad was still a teenager. My mum's parents were very Catholic. We visited them a decent amount. Pa used to always give us a two dollar coin ("gold"). I really liked Pa a lot, but I would not have called us close. Nana was strict and proper; we weren't close either. Nana and Pa would hold big celebrations for Easter and Christmas. Huge Lebanese feasts in their back yard, for the whole family - a big, Lebanese celebration. For some of my cousins and aunties, this was the only time I ever saw them. My nana didn't let my step-father go, she was against my mum and dad's divorce, and didn't go to my mum's wedding to my step-dad. I remember that and even as a young child, thought it was mean. As an adult, it still disgusts me.

    Pa died before Nana; he died of bowel cancer. I was really sad. I was sad when nana died too, but still angry at the way she treated my mum and my step-dad. Nana left a lot of money to my sister (who is blind) and nothing to the rest of us cousins, because she thought of my sister as helpless.

    My step-grandma, Kay, was fabulous. She came to Australia from Wales, and she never became an Australian citizen because she was Welsh. She had a plate of the Welsh flag, which she adored, and she taught me a little bit of Welsh. She was a staunch monarchist. She was also a really good singer. I was really close to her. She moved to live in a granny flat at the back of our garden when we were quite young and we called her the Fairy at the back of our garden. She'd give me (and my sisters) cookies, and she taught me to play canasta and to knit. She had a fabulous coloured glass clown that we called Coco. She also had some decorative wooden "Welsh" spoons. I have them stuck on my kitchen wall here in Beijing.

    Kay (whose real name was Muriel, her middle name was Kay) came to our place every Sunday for roast dinner, but I visited her pretty much every day since she was just down the garden path. She had a cat called David Thomas (DT), and she went into a nursing home just after DT died. We don't how old she was, since her birth certificate was long lots, and Kay lied about her age when getting her driver's licence. Every time we tried to find out, we found a different number!

    I have a lot of good memories of her, and it was sad to see her mind slowly deteriorate. She had a stroke before she died. One of the biggest regrets I have is that I didn't go home (I lived in Beijing already) when my parents called to say she's had a stroke. She didn't die until months and months later, but I didn't get to see her before she died :(