my grandfather on my father's side, and my grandmother on my mothers side both have march birthdays...as do i. like most families, we would celebrate birthdays grouped into season's or months. now with most of my family celebrating in the fall, it was just us in march. maybe it's because of this, i feel a special connection with them, but i'm thinking it's more the characteristics they possessed that i admired.
i think i was born loving my grandfather, maybe it was his eyes. they were in fact exactly like mine! we are the only ones in the family with that color! to this day, i still love that fact. as a kid, my love for him was mostly because he was my grandpa and he gave me candy, but as i got older it was because of the man he was. he had a million friends. there was no one that he wouldn't or couldn't talk to. i loved driving around with him chatting it up with everyone in the town, having conversations about farming or how god awful hot it was. it wasn't hard to noticed that every conversation with every person was sincere, and honest, and my grandfather seeming like he didn't have anywhere else to be, but talking to that person, at that moment. as i got older, he would ask me what girls i was "seeing" or as why i wasn't seeing any? in high school he'd still ask about girls i mentioned in the 3rd grade. still growing older, i started understanding my grandfather as a person, and i learned that he wore his emotions on his sleeve.
he passed away while i was at college, on the verge of becoming my own man. i still miss him terribly. there are a million stories i would love to tell him, and some advice i wished he'd give me now. one thing that makes me feel better, is that i still live my life, like he could ask me what i've been up to and be proud of me.
my grandmother is a different story. i miss her mostly because i feel i never really got to know her. she passed away when i was still very young. she remains in my mind the perfect, quintessential grandmother. always in the kitchen, always cooking up a huge german storm. meals to this day, i still miss. i'm not sure how true this is, but i remember there always being freshly made pies in the house! is that possible? constant fresh pie! whether it is or not, in my memory it's true, and absolutely heavenly! i wish i could have known her when i was older, but the stories of her quiet strength told to me by my mother, only make me love her, and miss her more.
although they have both passed on, their memories are still with me, especially when their birthdays roll around. what i wouldn't do for some authentic german cheese sacks and vinegar cucumbers right now. maybe even play a game of solitaire, and finish the night off with some cherry pie!