This morning I walked around my grandparents’ neighborhood and reminisced. I remember walking around the block with my grandmother when I was younger and listening to her stories about the neighbors and the old Cape Cod houses. I built my dream house with her at my side.
Today I walked around the block with my sister while my grandmother measured her blood pressure. People joke that as their loved ones get older, every question is answered with the relevance of the previous century. “Poppa, should I get my doctorate?”
He answers with “You know it’s really sad that in my day you didn’t need anything but a high-school degree in order to get good work. Now you need more education, and the more you get, the more overqualified you become.” You begin discussing summer work, and he begins talking about working eighty hours a week for two years in order to save up for a ring.
I don’t mind the stories. I appreciate them when I see my poppa struggling to get downstairs to his basement office. I see my grammie struggling to stand up from her chair. I watch them both fall asleep in front of the TV while they watch the baseball game. I also listen to them looking out for each other. They hold hands while they walk out to the car. Grammie yells, “Careful!” every time my poppa limps down the basement stairs. Every time he returns, she says, “Hello, dear.” At the grocery store this afternoon, he purposefully tries to confuse her when she tries to buy carrots. They chuckle.
They remind me of my parents. The way my poppa talks to my grammie reminds me of how my dad talks to my mom. I have grown up surrounded by love. Not everyone can say that, and I am thankful.