Moving back to Michigan has given us as opportunity to see our grandparents more regularly.
With that, comes the reality of life.
It's a strange feeling when you reach the age when you begin to understand so much more about those people who used to pat their leg for you climb up on their lap and cuddle in. It's almost as if the blinders finally come off, and the real world struggles and reality of older age are so obviously apparent. Instead of convincing them that you can, in fact, have another cookie because "mom said so," your conversations turn to health, marriage and family. (Although when I was five, getting another cookie was truly a real life struggle for me. hello elementary obesity.)

It seems some of the best memories result from the phenomena referred to as, "no filter." I think it is God's way of always giving us laughter during otherwise unfortunate times.
Family secrets? Forget 'em. Have an issue? Share it. Irritated? Just tell me how you really feel. Bowel movement? Sure, I'd love to know all about it. It's those conversations that make you want to freeze time and take a mental snapshot of the laughter and joy. They bring you back to those childhood moments free of worry and struggle. (Okay, maybe not the ones about the bowel movements.)

Some of my favorite memories involve experiences with my grandparents. Listening to their love stories, Christmas mornings at their home, tailgating at football games...
Recently, I've been writing them down as they come up in conversation.

Over the past few weeks, I've added to this list with a thankful, full heart.

Although you do, technically, see him everyday, Dr.Oz if not your family practitioner. It's no surprise that your doc was a bit insulted by that comment.

Even though someone is on the larger side, they don't need to be told by you. Especially a stranger in the department store.

You are not allowed to snap your fingers at the waitress

You always told me that my husband should be my best friend. You were right.

When I was helping pack your closet a few weeks ago, I noticed something. OH MY GOSH, I know where my OCD came from. Pants, shirts and dresses, perfectly pressed and organized by color, fit and season. WITH LABELS.

You look cute in your PJ's, it's cool if you stay in them all day

Although I know you love Michigan State, I know you love me more. Which actually means you love Michigan. 

I pledge to you that I will never drive a foreign car. Specially because at Christmas, I would hate having to park on the street due to you not allowing them in your driveway. 

I told you I'd help you interview a housekeeper. But I'm afraid you'll micromanage them too much and tell them how to properly clean a sink. 

Your garage is full of purchases from infomercials that promise weight loss results. I think a garage sale is in order.

You're the best caregiver that I've ever met. Makes me wonder if I could ever live up to you.

Pistachios remind me of our days tubing on the lake.

Your hugs are my favorite hug. They are painfully strong for a person the size of a twinkie. I like to think it's you putting all of your strength into showing how much you love. 

One of my favorite pictures is of us jumping on the trampoline with you at the lake years ago. The expression on your face is full of life and joy.

I was truly scarred as a child when I saw you with your dentures out. 

I loved sitting in Florida in your sunroom, with you and gramps teaching us "how to *crap* on your neighbor." We played that card game the entire trip.

Your love story needs to be a movie. I'd love to write a book about it one day.

You're saved every penny you've every earned, and when I asked you how, you're wife replied, "we didn't eat. That's how I stayed so skinny!!...that was the trick to being hot!"

Grandpa would sit in his chair because it was hard for him to breath while walking. You would jump on his lap and smooch him all over, right in front of all of your grandchildren. He'd call you beautiful and you'd call him your sexy man. It's one of the sweetest memories of love.

I got my stubbornness from you. I'm thankful for it because it's what has kept you fighting for your life.

You told me to never stop trying to look nice for my husband. When I'm tempted to get into my pajamas at 6 pm each evening, your voice is my guilty conscience.

You always looked like Santa Claus when I was growing up. I loved you way more than the pretend one :)

You once called the bank because your checking account was exactly 1 cent off. After two hours, you got that 1 cent back. You were so proud. 

It's hard to imagine a life without the memories of each of my grandparents' idiosyncrasies, personalities and life experiences. It's helped form who I am, who our family is, where we've come from and where we are now.
Let the stories continue.

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