There are certain things about my grandparents that I vividly remember:
My Grandmother Iannarelli's homemade Italian pizza, her chain smoking at the kitchen table, and the time she washed my mouth out with soap.
My Grandfather Iannarelli's garden with large, red tomatoes, his old car, and his stories.
My Grandmother Luberto's Detroit neighborhood, her Italian meatballs, and the arguments we used to have about who had worse feet; her or me.
I don't remember my Grandfather Luberto because he had passed away when I was very young. I know that that he immigrated to Canada and then America for a better life. He worked hard and eventually brought his family over.
When I was in high school, I had to interview one of my grandparents, and I chose my Grandfather Iannarelli. I must have spent two or so hours just talking to him, asking questions, learning about a man that I thought I knew. He passed away my sophomore year of college. He was 91. And to this day, I savor the conversation we had in his back sun room so many years ago. When he passed away, I knew that I wanted my own children to have strong relationships with their grandparents.
My children are fortunate to live within an hour and a half from all of their grandparents. They have wonderful relationships with all three sets of them.
Grandpa Waugh and Grandma Sue came for a visit today to celebrate my son's 11th birthday. We went out to lunch and enjoyed each other's company. The kids adore talking, sharing their latest news, and just spending time with them.
I am thankful for these relationships. When they are here, they are number one. And that is all that matters.