Climbing the Family Tree

Friday Five

Tell your children of it,
and let your children tell their children,
and their children to another generation.
Joel 1:3

Last Sunday was Grandparent’s Day. I missed it. Sometimes I stink at these Hallmark card moments. What can I do to make up for missing a chance to honor my generational heroes? I can write about them, of course!

For most of my adult life, I have worked with older adults. One of the perks of hanging out with this population is a lifetime of wisdom shining through the stories they tell. In this age of connection through wires and cables, face-to-face visits with our ancestors is an often missed treasure.

Hear, O sons, a father’s instruction,
and be attentive, that you may gain insight.
Proverbs 4:1

I have only one living grandparent to share that face-to-face connection. So, for today’s #FridayFive, I remember the treasure of my grandparents.

Remembering Grandparents

remembering grandparents

This lady loves a good party!


I will start with Grandma C, my mom’s mom. I spent my high school years living next door to her. I still get to sit in her floor to watch her laugh at my kids. She is a woman of routines, as am I. She goes to the grocery store on the same day every week. She is a hard worker, keeping us all supplied with fresh veggies from her garden and hand-knitted sweaters. Even with the structure and hard word, she takes the time to enjoy life. I love that she gets cracked up over Seinfeld episodes. And she shares her Korean soap opera VHS tapes with me. Culturally, we are miles apart. Yet she finds ways to connect.


remembering grandparents

This is the Jesse that won Sachiko’s heart.


PawPaw was a gregarious fellow. He told jokes loudly and often. He would hit the punch line with a big knee slap and guffaw. He showed us magic tricks and took us to the store for candy every time we visited. I am not a fun person— much more like Grandma with my checklists and agenda—but every once in a while, I try to be like PawPaw and just yuk it up with my kids.


remembering grandparents

Grandma (L) and Aunt Frances (R)


Just writing her name makes me tear up. Grandma R died after a brave battle with cancer, much too early in my life and hers. I miss her fiercely at every big event; my wedding, the birth of my children, Thanksgiving. She read Little Golden Books to us over and over while cuddled up on her vinyl couch.  I will forever remember her when I have Rice Krispies, purple Kool-aid, and coconut cake. As I honor her today, I am challenged to take the time to show affection to my own family the way she did with us. When we were at her house, we were the only people in the world. She loved us well.


remembering grandparents

Granddaddy turns 80!


Granddaddy stood 10 feet tall. Or, at least it seemed. I don’t know that he ever sat much when we were little except to eat all the food Grandma cooked. Granddaddy was love in action. He made most of his grandkids a bed from a pile of wood. If we needed a bookshelf, he built it. One day, while standing around in his driveway, Granddaddy noticed I needed new tires. He sent me to my uncle’s garage and took care of the bill. I always knew Granddaddy loved me because he took care of me.  


remembering grandparents

Great Granddaddy at my wedding.


I did have the rare privilege of knowing my great granddaddy. He got to hold my daughter, his great-great granddaughter. When I picture him, it is always in the swing on Grandma’s front porch. I wish I had taken more time to hear his stories. He stayed socially active until his last days, never without a friend or a girlfriend. I love that he never stopped living, even in his golden years.


#FridayFive Link Up

Now it’s your turn! Do you have a special memory of someone in your family tree? Or maybe you have a bit of wisdom to impart on the next generation, like Solomon in the book of Proverbs. Share in the comments below. Or, better yet, link up using the button below!

#FridayFive schedule

Be sure to come back next week to share Five Open Tabs!

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  1. I want to be like Nell. What a beautiful tribute, Kelly. I can tell it came from the richest places of your heart.

  2. Kelly, I found your blog through She Reads Truth. I loved this post and the idea of honouring people from different generations of our family who have been special to us. It inspired me to write my own post about one of my family members.

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