Wednesday, July 1, 2009

when shall we three meet again...

I put my mom on a plane back to California Tuesday morning--always a bittersweet thing. My family is scattered all over the place and the times my brothers, mom and I are all in the same place are few and far between. That seems to be the norm these days... Gone are the days when 3 generations lived under one roof. Or having multiple relatives living within walking distance. Children grow up now with only occasional interaction with their extended family. Kinda sad, I think.

I spent many wonderful hours with my grandparents, who lived only a few miles away. I can still remember going into Grandmom's buffet to get one of the games or toys she kept there for us. Granddad was a gardener and my younger brother and I loved to help him pick berries and the like. We also had a bad habit of falling into the compost heap...but I digress.

I have wonderful memories of my grandparents, and my mother has told stories of her extended family that I cherish. My own two children grew up spending many happy hours with their father's mother, "Nanny," both in PA and at the Jersey shore. She is very special to them to this day. They also had a great aunt and great-great aunt on their father's side. Sadly, my family was scattered by then and they aren't as close to them as I'd like.

My grandson has 3 great-grandparents and 3 grandparents in his life. My official title is "Mimi"--I'd just turned 38 folks, "Grandma" wasn't gonna cut it. He spent many hours with all of us during his first decade as his mom finished high school and then college. As a result, he's an unusual mix of all of our personalities. A very interesting young man. I can only hope my grandson can look back on the time he spent with me, his "Pop" and his paternal grandparents during his formative years with the same fondness.

We can gain great wisdom from those who went before us; it's a shame so many don't have the opportunity to do so. As I send my mom back to California and prepare to help my grandson go off to college, I hope today's technology can in some small way make up for the lack of regular "face time."

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