Saturday, October 22, 2011

my legacy

These are my maternal grandparents, James and Carol to some but Momo and Popo to me. These two people are part of my legacy, a reason why I am proud to be a member of my family, and an entity of who I am.

My grandparents were married when my Momo was only seventeen years old. They love one another so much.

My Momo's obituary says she was a homemaker; that word cannot begin to encompass what this woman achieved while she was alive. However, she would have been more than okay with people knowing her as such. She was a mother, a grandmother, a leader, a force that only the brave (or stupid) reckoned with and so much more. She was a southern woman who loved her family and foremost did her best to serve God.

I remember hearing the story of her losing my uncle when he was only five days old and her choice to turn to Heavenly Father. Because of this, I am a member of a wonderful church, I do my best to serve others and during my darkest trials I have learned to turn to Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father as well.

I remember several stories of my mom getting in the car after school, excited at the groceries that included "the good stuff" only to find out they were being taken to someone who was in more need than her family.

I remember thinking that my grandmother was especially hard on me, only to learn that was because she knew what I was capable of. I remember my grandmother stoking my hair and singing me to sleep, when we would spend the night at her place. She did that the last night she was alive.

I remember her laugh, her whole body shaking, tears being wiped away. I remember her begging my mom to leave the abusive relationship she was in.

I remember her homemade comfort food, her biscuits and gravy. I remember in high school, right before I was about to make a really stupid decision seeing her disapproving face and deciding that actually it was time to go home.

I see my Popo still serving, still carrying on. I listen to him as he gives me advice on life and tells me stories from the days of the railroad and police force. I hear his southern drawl as he talks to each one of his children and grandchildren in a loving and most of the times teasing way.

I love my grandpa's nicknames for me: Houston, Miss America, Miss Universe...

I remember the last time I was over at his house. My little brother Benji decided to show off his balancing skills to Gabe by tediously standing by the edge of the pool on one foot. Of course, he fell in. As soon as my Popo made sure Benji was safe and out of the pool he came into the house laughing  with that same entire body, red in the face, tears streaming down his face that my Momo had. He even fell on the floor. (He then went and helped Benji into one of his old t-shirts and apologized about laughing, but not before he retold his version to everyone in the house.)

I respect my grandfather almost more than any other man. I love him so much and I am glad that he is such an example to me in my life.

There are so many more stories I could tell about my grandparents, and plenty that others have to tell. Most of them are about service, many of them are humorous, and about love.

This is my legacy, this is what I have to look forward to. And while I am not saying they are perfect, I am saying I am proud to be able to say they are my grandparents, that they are my legacy.