Wednesday, October 2, 2013

My Grandfather - by Cousin Lisa

October is Family History Month and in celebration of it I have decided to turn my blog over to my favorite type of relatives; cousins!

Today's post is written by my Cousin Lisa who is a first cousin on my mom's side of my family. My mother's family is not especially close knit. Lisa and I grew up very far apart; Lisa in Florida, I in NY. In my teens I got to spend a lot of my summer vacations with my grandfather, Clarence Albert Gardner otherwise known as Whitey. I was always a little jealous, though, that Lisa got to be so close to him; geographically and personally. Thanks for your post Li. I love you!

My Grandfather - by Cousin Lisa

Up until a few years ago, my grandfather was the closest person to me who passed away. It was one of the hardest feelings I could ever express, especially since, at the time, I lived so far away and hadn't seen him as often as I use to. 

My grandfather had a tough life. Not that everyone is handed an easy one, but my heart breaks for what he had to go through. He lost, what I like to assume, was the love of his life at the tender age of 41. Leaving him with six children to raise by himself, the youngest being only 2 years old. I cannot even begin to imagin what that must have felt like. Like most kids who lose a parent when they are young, I know that at least one of his kids (my father, specifically), took it very hard. My father turned towards alcohol and drugs to cope and in turn, became a very rebellious and hard to handle teenager. 

Knowing who my grandfather was, I have no doubt he tried his best to raise his children all by himself. He never remarried. He also never told me about my grandmother. However, I can't help but think he never remarried because she was his one true love, therefore, there could be no other. I could be completely wrong for all I know but that is what I like to think.

To me, my grandfather was the strongest person I had ever known & maybe, just maybe, a hopeless romantic too.

Cousin Lisa, Grandpa Gardner, Uncle Ron

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