Saturday, September 11, 2010

Will somebody please tell me when I became my parents?

Will somebody please tell me when this happened! It seems I am turning out like my parents or Grandparents. I'm not saying I'm a mirror image, just bits and pieces. I'm not sure when this happened.

(Left to right back, my Mother and Father, my 2 Uncles, my Aunt in front my Grandmother Great-Grandmother and my Grandfather.)

I remember when I was young thinking I never want to be like my parents. My dad a former US Marine and a very "Anal retentive" person spending his days off labeling the outlines on the peg board where the shovel hangs in the garage.

(random photo found on Microsoft Word)

I remember I didn't understand why it mattered. So many things he did just didn't matter to me, my mom or my brothers. Everything had to be "Just so". From the way the towels in the bathroom were hung, the way his boxers were folded to the way we put away our toys and bikes. I didn't want to be like that. He passed away last year after battling Leukemia.

My Mom was the less anal retentive half of this pair. She's currently in a care home suffering with Alzheimer's

She collected sewing and craft supplies always finding storage spots for them. She was clean and neat and as long as it got put away she was happy. She was less bothered by water spots on the mirrors and unmade beds than my dad. This got criticism from my dad's mother. She would tell me that my mom didn't clean the house to my dad's liking and she didn't do laundry well enough. Being a child/ pre-teen I didn't care about any of it.

I never considered my Grandmother a great house keeper, but she could cook up a storm and she was proud that she could mend holes my Grandfathers socks. (WTH?) My Grandfather worked hard to support his family. He was up early and in bed late. When not at work he was farming or working on the house.

My Mothers parents were different. My Grandma was fun and let everything roll off her back. Back then that didn't mean much to me, but I now realize how important it was for her to survive. She had Polio at 6 years, lost a brother to a childhood disease and her mother when she was young. She was diagnosed with breast cancer at 47 years old and passed away at 54. She never lost her ability to love. She loved her family all her pets and loved life! My Grandfather also had a rough childhood. Became a police officer and worked hard to support a young family He broke his back falling off a second story roof chasing a bad guy. After healing he had to retire from the force but wanted to work. He learned TV repair. When I was born I was his first grandchild and he would take me with him on repair calls. (I was a toddler). He adored me. One of the things that bugged the "you know what" out of me growing up. I wouldn't answer him when he called my name, so he would call me Alice. That would tick me off. Thinking about that just now made me smile. He loved to tell awful jokes. He would tell jokes to strangers at the store. Back then I was annoyed! Just now, it made me smile! He loved to laugh. "Did you know you were born part animal?" He would ask, "You had a Dear face and a Bear butt". I would be so embarrassed. (I just giggled at that one) He would spend his evenings with many of his pets on his lap and watching television. Sometimes he would have 3 or 4 television sets going at one time. He was "repairing" them.

Grandpa, we called him "GP" goofing around with the Christmas wrap. He lost his long battle with Alzheimer's last year.

Now that I am all grown up I have become my own person! HA! What I realize is that I am all these people. I see bits and pieces of my father when I put away my canned food. All the labels have to face out and soup doesn't get stacked on top of tomatoes, or when I put away my socks. First arranging them in the drawer by type like sport, dress and then by color. I see my mom in my love for cats, coffee and collecting craft supplies. Sometimes I hear her voice when I'm speaking. I learned the importance of working hard and being proud of who you are from my Fathers parents. I love to cook and still crochet some like my Grandmother taught me. I still won't darn socks! I love my family and being close to my children. This is something I remember growing up with my mother's parents. I love to laugh even if the joke is on me. I also learned that life is short! Live each day like it's your last.

I guess being like your parents isn't a bad thing! This is who I am and it's not so bad. How I wish they were all around today to see what I have become. They would be proud!