Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love of reading, passed down

On Tuesday, after the funeral, our family all gathered at Grandma's house to eat some of the food that had been dropped off over the last few days. As usual, I was there earlier than everyone else (I am habitually early...) So once again, I found myself alone in my Grandparent's house.

It wasn't as sad as it was when I stopped there on Sunday afternoon. This time I wasn't as spooked by the memories. When I was there on Sunday, I tried not to really look or focus on anything in the house. I just sat there and read the book that I had in my purse and just tried not to think about why I was back home.

On Tuesday, though, I walked around and looked at my Grandparents' books. I definitely got my love for reading from my Grandparents. It was fostered by my parents, of course, but it was definitely encouraged by my Grandparents. When I was little, they would buy me books for Christmas and Birthdays, and as I got older, my Grandpa always wanted to talk about the latest book I was reading.

My Grandparents have tons of books. They have an entire wall of books, actually - I hope to some day have something similar in my house. As I waited for the rest of the family to arrive, I started pulling books off the shelf and paging through them.

I discovered the neatest thing. When my Grandpa finished reading a book - he put that day's date in the book and would often write down his reflection. So the books would say things like "v. engaging read". If the book was a gift from someone, he would put, "With love, from ___." I looked for the last 2 books I had given Grandpa and sure enough, both of them said, "With love, from Lisa" in my grandpa's handwriting.

Paging through these books, I felt so close to my Grandpa. I hope that someone takes some sort of inventory of the books Grandpa has read. Or maybe that is a project I need to take on myself next time I go home (I'm a list lover & I love making them!). I think it would be nice for us Grandkids to have a list of books Grandpa read, maybe complete with the date read, and Grandpa's reflection. I'd certainly benefit from reading them, as they were pretty much all history books.

So yes, I am still sad and down about the passing of my Grandfather. But I am also feeling incredibly thankful to have had such a wonderful Grandfather in my life. Since coming back to work yesterday, people have asked me how I am doing and whether I was close to my Grandpa. I've had multiple people comment about how lucky I am to have been so close to him as they were not close to their grandparents.

So instead of focusing on the events my Grandpa will miss - like Abby's wedding in August, and my wedding some day, I am focusing on the things that Grandpa was around for, like my HS & College graduations. Because being the positive, optimistic person Grandpa was, I don't think he'd want me focusing on the memories I won't have. He'd want me focusing on the countless memories I do have.


Amber said...

That is so cool that your Grandfather did that! I think making a list of all the books he's read and what he wrote in them would be a wonderful thing that you and your family could cherish forever.

aimee said...

i love that your grandpa made notes in the books! what an awesome idea and a great memory for you and your family!

Meg said...

i love this story! you will for sure have to start doing this too. :) i think that is such a great passion that you can share with them and always remember!!!