In the last year or so, I have been really enjoying emailing my Papa. I started asking him questions about his life (since my acquaintance with him has been much briefer than his life). I've loved hearing about the farm he grew up on, the food his mom cooked, the snakes in the creek he swam in, the house that was taken out by a tornado while they weren't in it. We grandkids don't often think about our grandparents riding their own homemade rafts down muddy creeks into fences. Or sleeping in the kitchen on a cot. Or having fruit fights.
I've enjoyed hearing about his time in the service. And the first time he saw Grandma. My memories of Grandma include her jumping on the trampoline with us kids, and riding my bike when I was seven, so I wasn't too surprised by the stories about her.
I heard my mom's memories of her parents all my life, from the view point of a kid looking at adults. It's a blessing to hear their memories themselves.
If your grandparents are alive, ask them about their lives. I have enjoyed becoming friends with my Papa. Our lives are so much richer when we have something other than our own histories to remember. It seems to me like the 60's generation has been commemorating itself since I was born, and America began a long time before 1960. It puts some things in perspective to hear about them first hand.
Thank you, Papa, for taking the time to tell me your stories. I love them. And I love you.