It's not very often that I am upset with my parents, because it has always been my motto that, when you know better, you do better. But I have to say this weekend made me a little bitter. Not for me (well maybe a little) but mostly for my children. For the loss of memories. For the lack of a family history. For the lack of a family to reflect back on and be proud of.
Sure there are a few things I can relay to my children that they could be proud of. Their grandfather served in World War II. That he was at and survived the bombing of Pearl Harbor. That both my parents lived through the Depression. That their grandparents were hard workers, who never asked a dime from anyone, and opened their door to those in need. That they were kind and honest to those they came in contact with.
I wish I knew more about their childhood, how they met, what they wished they would have done better or different. How exactly did my dad manage to find two Nadine's to fall in love with?
I don't have a lot of regrets, not because I haven't made a lot of mistakes along the way, but mostly because the ones I have made, I have learned many valuable lessons from. But I have to say that one of the regrets I have is that my children have not had the opportunity to be close to family.
Andrew and I had the opportunity to go to a dear mans funeral yesterday. He was a neighbor of ours 10 years ago when we lived on Falls Dr. He and his wife were retired and they were such sweet people. He was such a gentle soul. He lived just across the street from us. Our first encounter with him was when I was first moving in and I had run into the house to drop something off and left the kids in the car. I was driving my mother in laws big huge Chrysler, and Kenzie slipped up to the front seat and pulled the car out of gear. It rolled backwards and ran into Steve and Glenda's chain link fence. Luckily it didn't do any damage, but I was so worried that our brand new neighbors would think we were negligent parents. He just smiled and said, "no harm done." He reminded me a lot of my father. He didn't talk a lot but you knew that he had such wisdom. He would pick strawberries with my kids and play with Luke (his golden retriever) and them. I had such respect for him and secretly wished he could be my children's grandfather.
Anyway, the reason I am reflecting on this time is because, Steve and his wife were kind of surrogate grandparents to my kids. As they gave his life sketch at the funeral, they talked about what a wonderful grandfather he was and how much he enjoyed his grandchildren, it just made me sad that my children didn't have the chance to have a wise and gentle grandfather (other than Steve) in their life. My kids have 5 Aunts, and 4 Uncles. And only have a relationship with one or two of them. They have many cousins, but aren't close to any of them. It's been hard to feel like a lone family with no support system or anyone to celebrate our accomplishments with or lean on when times are hard.
One thing I am really hoping for is that they are close to one another, that they are good Aunts and Uncles. And that we are the kind of grandparents that we wanted our children to have. I know that we are given the challenges we are given in order for us to learn and grow. I hope we have learned the importance of family. I hope we live long enough to know our grandchildren. I hope we are always there to celebrate their accomplishments and to be there to support them when they need it.
I miss my parents and am sad they didn't get the chance to know their grandchildren. I think they would have really loved them.