192. What was the first thought you had when you met your spouse?
193. If you could write a letter to a future generation, which generation would it be? What would you say? Why?
194. What advice do you wish that you would have gotten earlier in your life? Who finally gave it to you? Why?
195. Who was/is your favorite distant relative?
196. What is one of the first books that you remember reading? What were the circumstances?
197. Describe the color of one of your grandparents eyes. What do you remember about their eyes? Do you have the same color eyes?
198. Which grandparent was most influential in your life? Why?
This week I've decided to do 198. Which grandparent was most influential in your life?
It is hard for me to decide which grandparent has been the most influential in my life. My grandparents were/ are four amazing people who were incredibly involved in my (and my sister's) life. My paternal grandparents were amazing people: my grandfather (Grandy or Grandad) was a Presbyterian minister and a lieutenant colonel in the United States military while my grandmother (Nonna) was a pianist, poet, organist, and mother - among other things. My maternal grandparents were also amazing people: my grandfather (Grandpa) was a retired military man (as well) and after he retired painted, made jewelry, created stained glass windows, sailed, and so much more - with my grandmother (Grandma), a mother of four, at his side.
It's impossible to say which person influenced me the most in my life because I feel like they have all influenced me. I was the first grandchild (the only grandchild for 3 years) for my paternal grandparents. My Nonna was one of the sweetest women that I've ever met in my life. She never swore. When she was angry she would say "Oh my stars!" Her house was full of beautiful antiques. She was a wonderful entertainer. She had endless love and patience. I don't remember her EVER saying a cross word to anyone. My Grandad was also an amazing person. He and my Nonna knew each other for a few weeks before they got married - and they were married over 60 years. He was always happy to visit with anyone. He was the kind of man who didn't solve a problem for you - but he had a story that was always applicable and he helped you make up your own mind.
My Grandmother always had a homeopathic cure for whatever ailed you. She had been a teacher before she married my grandfather and was instrumental in making sure that we read constantly. She instilled the importance of good eating and exercise in us - something that I think we all try to live by in our busy, technologically controlled lives. My Grandpa went out of his way to present us with unique toys, play houses, art - and so much more.
I love/d all of my grandparents - but I was never friends with my paternal grandparents. They died when I was 13-14 years old, so I only knew them as a child. When my Grandmother died, I had started to know her as a friend. I would call her every night on my way home from work, I would visit as often as I could - and I asked and learned about her life. The relationship that I have with my Grandpa - my last grandparent - is one that I never had with the others. He offers me advice and his opinions when I need it. He loves me unconditionally. He talks often of his career, raising my mother and her siblings, and the grandchildren. Some of the best advice, that I hope to bring in to my own parenting one day, is that he wishes he could have been a grandparent before he became a parent - and when I think about how he has been as a grandparent, I understand what he is saying.
The best gift that each of my grandparents gave to me was time. I can't say that one has been more influential than the other, because all four of these adults were so involved in my life. What I can say is that they each inspired me and influenced me in different ways, but one common lesson that they all taught me was that when it comes to people that you love, your time is the best gift that you can ever give.