Thursday, July 7, 2011

old people.

I love my grandparents. Though I miss my Shirley Nanny lots, I am lucky to have three grandparents still living AND a Jonita. What's a Jonita? Well, shes the fun-loving step-grandma who loves cats, wrapping presents and winning games. This can be tough since Papa rules at all games, and when we play spades he knows what card everyone has played and what cards they have left. It hurts my head to think about all of that. When Papa and Jonita were dating, if its called that when you are old (maybe courting?), Papa came down to Houston to stay with us. One night I couldn't find him, and I realized he was sitting in the hot tub talking to Jonita on the phone. I about died. I have never even talked to a boy from the hot tub. Would you be able to even hear with the bubbles? Would HE be able to hear with all the bubbles? Let's just assume he didn't have the bubbles on because he can't really hear me when I am about a foot away and yelling. Papa, if you are reading this, I think you are really good at poker, golf and snow skiing, and I am sorry for the previous hearing comments.

The thing about grandparents is that they are different from your parents. Wise words right? What I am trying to say is that while the word "parent" is in their name, they are a different breed of parent than your parents. They may not know that you stink at cleaning your room or that your favorite show is So You Think You Can Dance, because they aren't always around. Maybe your grandparents live far away and you don't get to see them much or maybe it's the other way around and you see them all the time. Like the kind of grandparents who were always at your volleyball games or choir concerts growing up. Either way, the role that they can take is pretty incredible. And for me, these people are pretty crucial in my life.

My dad's dad, Paw paw, is about as good as it gets. He loves to eat, and at most meals, even fancy ones, he tucks his napkin into his shirt, or jumpsuit. People laugh, I laugh, but he is just being careful y'all. Every Christmas, the kids switch off reading the Christmas story. One time, he skipped over my cousin Hayley when she was about 10, because he didn't think she could read yet. Hayley was offended, but I thought it was funny. He usually sits at the head of the table and talks to his grandchildren. The next year, he likes to see if we remember what he talked about, and I usually spit out the word reputation. Because that is what it's usually about. He cares a lot. Mostly he cares about if we are following Jesus, which is the best thing to care about. He still practices law and wonders why I ever switched my major from accounting. He wrote down the accounting equation for me at my cousin's graduation party, and even still, he asks if I switched back to accounting. I think I confused him when I got an internship at an accounting firm. I think I confused myself.

Lee Nanny is paw paw's sweetheart. She loves the Cowboys and the Mavs and gets super into all the games. Dirk, if you're out there, Lottie Lee Flagg loves you. Nanny likes having girls around since she raised three boys and is also married to a boy (man). Nanny and Paw Paw had a motorhome for a long time and would take lots of trips with their friends and explore new places, always parking at Wal-Marts along the way because it is free and they have a map that shows where all of the Wal-Marts are in Texas. At 7, I was mesmerized by it. So many Wal-Mart dots everywherrrre. When they would come visit us in Houston, they would drive the motorhome and park it in our driveway. They would not even stay inside our house. Because why stay in a house when you can stay in a motorhome with a 6 foot pull out? They would wake up and eat breakfast there and then around 10 trapze into the house from their mini vacation in the driveway. Nanny pronounces the game washers- worshers and feeds her dog Fred too much food. He smells a lot and is not really liked by anyone, but her. Someones got to love to Fred I guess.

Papa is my mom's dad. He has always seemed younger than he is- besides the previously mentioned hearing issue. He still plays golf with my brother and dad, which is pretty special, and he got to go to the Players Championship this year. He sat in the chalet Austin got him and loved every minute of it, whether he was surrounded by family or sitting by himself. He loves to travel and he has about a bazillion friends. When he got re-married to Jonita, their wedding was massive. All these people that we guessed wouldn't come, traveled from all over, simply because Papa is a good friend and they wanted to be one too. Since my dad isn't quite the fix-it man, Papa always comes over to help my mom hang pictures or put up hooks, things like that. When he orders food, he sometimes takes forever to decide what he wants or says it extremely slowly like the waiter is incapable of properly listening. I'm sitting here thinking, since I was 9 I have known I wanted the cheeseburger and Dr. Pepper. Omg grandpa decide. Papa's favorite thing is poker night with his buds, and he loves the Texas Tech Raiders. Someone's got to.

Shirley Nanny is last but certainly not least. She died when I was a sophomore in high school. I still remember Mrs. Rigby coming to my chemistry classroom and pulling me out. And in the back of my mind I didn't want to think about the possibility of her death, but she brought me to my mom who worked at my high school, and we cried. Cried for my grandpa, my mom, my aunt and cried for me. I decided to stay for chapel and then go home. Taylor knew something was wrong when I walked in and I remember my friends literally bear hugging me for about 5 minutes, which was good since I was practically sobbing. They wrote me a sweet card the next day that I still have. Because Dani's handwriting is really good, but mostly because the words were heartfelt and I needed them. Her alzheimers came when I was in elementary school. It's a really mean disease that doesn't just cause you to forget things, it can change who you are and the way you act towards people. You are physically healthy, but it just isn't the same you. There were some great moments though, and I am especially thankful that I got the chance to know her both before and after alzheimers. She was so talented. The most beautiful calligrapher I've known. And now I still have some things with her calligraphy on them that I treasure. I miss her, but I am grateful I got to know her. That I have will always have the memory of her with me. The memory of singing "There will be no more night" at her funeral between tears and a runny nose and a sad heart. Realizing that God's glory can be shown even in death.

All this to say, I love my grandparents. Even like them. It is from them that I have witnessesd the importance of patience and selflessness, because most of the time they aren't the center of attention and they don't mind when things don't go as quickly. And when I listen to the John Mayer song "stop this train," I want to disagree, but deep down I want the train to stop because I really like where I am and would like to stay 21 forever. But then I listen to the end of the song, and I remember that age can be beautiful. That though this world doesn't quite glorify age, it is much more than wrinkles and grandchildren. That there is always more to learn and to teach, more love to be given and had and for certain, more life to be lived. Time goes on. We get older. Jesus stays the same. We get to know him better day by day. And life gets even sweeter.