Sunday, May 16, 2010


One of the reasons we're out on this journey is to God, to purpose, to authenticity, to others, to nature, to real life. In the past few years, we've had many changes & many challenges. I've found myself longing for an older generation to lean on. I've always had great parents & a solid family...but, we're ALWAYS together. Most times, that creates a vacuum where real understanding is supposed to be...can't see the forest for the trees, so to speak.

I didn't have a traditional grandparent setup, either. Growing up, I had grandparents who lived far away, or were still parents themselves. (my mom is one of nine children, and her youngest sister is 2 years older than me) They either weren't a constant in my life, or they hadn't had the chance to be removed from the season of parenthood, so that they could take on the lighter & more fun role of grandparent. I loved them very much...but, it was never a situation where I got to sit at their side, have them tell me stories, & experience that quiet wisdom that comes from getting past the angst of youth, parenthood, & middle age. It never really dawned on me that I was missing that aspect of my life, until I got older, and then became a parent, myself.

On this journey, I have been craving that special relationship. In fact, in the past few years, I've experienced my first pain that I haven't had a special "grandparent-y" relationship. So, I decided to go and visit my grandfathers...both maternal and paternal. Both have passed and are buried in the same section of a cemetery in Amarillo, TX...the place of my birth & that of both sides of my family.

My dad's dad...who gave me my love for coffee.

My mom's dad...who was quirky, but who had a feather in his fedora...and I miss it.

I'm not sure what spurred me on...I wasn't particularly close to either of them...but, I really felt the urge to go, and it was a really emotional experience. Standing there, I realized that I hadn't ever really had a moment alone with either of them. For the first time in my life, it was just me and them...and I realized that I loved them and I missed them...and, so I told them so, with no interruptions. It felt good to have their undivided attention:)

I'm still reveling in this family stuff...trying, for the first time, to sort some stuff out. You know I can't write about it, until I have it compartmentalized in my head, so for now, just know I'm working on it. One thing I know for sure...connecting to your roots is a huge part of weaving history...and a sad casualty of the growing disrespect for the idea of family. I don't think you have to be blood...but, I do think commonality & understanding are pivotal to people being grounded in this feeling like their part of a bigger picture...and that they have a place.

Maybe take a moment today, and call your grandparents...or anyone who may fill that place for you. Ask them to tell you a story...ask their opinion on something that you're struggling with. You never know if you'll hear something that might make you realize an aspect of you came from a generation before, or that there was something crazy in your family's past. It's how we bridge the gap from one generation to the next. Chances are...they've weeded out all the unnecessary nonsense...and are confident that you're going to make it out just fine.

After all...they've walked this ground before you, and made it through somehow, & they know there's truly nothing new under the sun.

Thank God.


  1. Aleisha,
    My grandmothers were both the most special women in the world to me. One quiet and reserved, petite, honest and true. We lived with "Danny and Pop" until I was 6. ( there was a housing shortage after the war). My other grandmother, Grandma, lived far far away in Illinois when I was little and then in California. She was outgoing, laughed a lot, knew all kinds of stories and had a faith that would move mountains. Every summer we drove to California to see Grandma. And the force of her love for me was so strong, I was just as close to her as I was to Danny. Nothing like the unconditional love of a grandmother, who always believes the best in you ( she doesn't always know the bad stuff). They were both a huge influence on me and I try to be that kind of Grandmother to Zoe, Moriah, Cailyn and Jacob.

  2. This is great Aleisha, it made me stop and think about whether I actually take time to spend with my family, especially my grandparents. And how I always feel like I have plenty of time, but life is short and who knows when my last opportunity will be. I want to make sure I get my chance to gain some of their wisdom and strength so that I can pass it on to the next generation. Thanks for reminding me to keep our family as a top priority and to not take them for granted.

  3. This piece warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes. It's comforting knowing you took the time to go see your grandfathers, even though you didn't know them well enough. They were both good people and had their own special kind of love. And believe it or not, they both were great story tellers and would have given undivided attention to a listener. It's sad to know things about people after they are gone that we should have known and experienced when they were alive. Yes, take any and every opportunity you can, for they are few! A chat is always just a phone call away!
    Thanks for the sweet words of wisdom and a moment to reflect!



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