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Tuesday, November 18, 2008


For some reason I have been thinking a lot about my Grandparents lately. The ones that have passed that is. I have only one single surviving Grandparent and as much as I would love to feel welcome with open (and loving) arms in her home, I am not. Its not that I did anything, but she is just a different type of Grandma. She only wants HER biological children to visit. She claims to have too many grandchildren. How can one have too many blessings? Thats another post at a different time though.

I grew up feeling loved (with exception of one) by all my Grandparents. For most of my childhood we lived far away from both of them, but would make at least two trips if not one trip to see them each year. My Nagypapa and Nagymama (Grandpa and Grandma in Hungarian) lived on the east side of Cleveland. It was tradition that we would go up there every Thanksgiving. We were always (and I mean always) greeted at the door with kisses and hugs.

I remember how I loved to kiss my Nagymama. She had such a smooshy face (I know that doesn't sound endearing) and she always had a big smile after my quick peck. She loved it. She died when I was only 12, but I tend to think of her more so then I think of my other Grandparents. She taught me solitaire, read books to me, said the rosary daily, smoked her cigarettes (the smell still reminds me of her), and encouraged me to become an author after patiently reading all my childhood scribble books. She was beautiful and I loved her.

My Nagypapa was a strict and stern man. You did not want to get in trouble with this guy. He reminded me of my Dad, but even more strict. He had a fun side to him though. He loved to tease us. I remember how he used to have two jars of M&Ms in his dining room. The peanut M&Ms were his favorite and the plain one was mine. Typically before dinner, he would want some M&Ms, but he knew that if he was caught then he would be in trouble. So he sent his grandchildren in to get it. I remember many a time being caught red handed with a handful of peanut M&M in one hand and a handful of plain M&Ms in the other. Then he would get scolded by the women for putting me up to it. Later years he had Alzheimer's and dementia pretty bad. I remember at one point he was in a rehab to rehabilitate from some minor surgery. He sat there and the cousins, my sister and I just giggled and laughed telling stories to him. At one point I remember him sitting in the wheel chair, I was kneeled down next to him and a light bulb in his head went off. "Diana?" Nagypapa said. At this point he barely recognized his own children and not his grandchildren. "Yes, Nagpapa its me." I tearly said back to him. He recognized me!!! "But you're so grown Diana" he said in a confused tone. I gasped, the cousins and my sister gasped, and I said "Yes Nagypapa". The light bulb went off and he was back to his regular self. Apparently he must of remembered me from when I was a little girl. That moment still makes me teary eyed to this day. It was the last time he ever recognized me. I love him so much.

My Poppi was one of my favorites. He was a great Grandfather that would take you to the park, have books behind his chair so that each grandchild could pick a book for him to read, and just spend the time with us. One memory was of how " bad ass" my Poppi was. My Grandparents didn't live in a good neighborhood. My cousin and I decided to go to a park that was only a block away. While playing (we were only 11 and 12) a gang of Hispanics started jumping the fence to the playground and started surrounding us. We were pretty scared. My cousin and I were great runners at that time and some how escaped. While running down the road back to my Grandparents house, we were screaming for "Poppi" and no joke about twenty Hispanics were running behind us. Poppi could look out at the street from his window and probably saw us running. He ran and got (and this is hilarious) his World War II rifle and headed out the door. He pointed the gun as we ran passed him at the Hispanics and said a few words and told them "to get the hell of his property before he shoots their asses." My cousin and I cheered inside the comforts of the house. The Hispanics left and my Poppi had saved the day. My Poppi passed away a few years after that. I remember holding his hand as he died at the age of 13. I couldn't let go of that hand for four hours. I just didn't want my time with him to end.

If you have gotten this far, I appreciate your patience in letting me talk about my Grandparents and my memories of them. It makes me wonder what memories my son will have of his Grandparents. How he will view them. What he will think of them? What will his favorite memories be of them? I hope his memories are all beautiful and wonderful. Grandparents are a true blessing in life and certainly can give their grandchildren such a different outlook on things. Good Grandparents, loving Grandparents are honest blessings in God's work.

I love you Nagymama, Nagypapa and Poppi. I miss you.

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