Fletcher suggests writing about a brother, sister, or special relative. Remember: think small. Focus on one aspect of that person, or one experience you had with him or her.
Both of my grandfathers passed away in the year prior to my Bat Mitzvah. Each of these men were special to me. However, I was exceedingly closer to my Florida Grandfather, as opposed to my Brooklyn Grandfather even though he lived in closer proximity to me.
Florida Grandpa, otherwise known as Grandpa Morris, loved me with all of his heart. (Now I’m not being conceited or anything! I was his one and only grandchild. Hence, he had no choice but to adore me!) Grandpa Morris let me do pretty much anything I wanted when I was a child. He let me put my fingerprints all over the floor to ceiling mirrors in my Grandparents’ Condo. He also let me mess-up what was left of his hair. And regardless of how loud I would get, he let me watch baseball games on television by his side.
Grandpa Morris simply loved baseball. My grandparents got cable before my parents’ did (Wait, my parents still don’t have cable!) so that my Grandfather would be able to watch baseball games whenever he wished. Even though he had a recliner, he always sat in the same brown swivel chair that he dragged over from the kitchen table.
“Grandpa, why don’t you sit in your recliner?” I asked him countless times.
“I like this chair,” he replied.
“But you have a comfortable chair Grandpa. Sit in that one.”
“Staceleh, I like this chair. I’m comfortable here. You sit in the recliner.”
Just like my Grandfather, always willing to give up his seat for someone else so that they could be more comfortable.
When I was about three years old I began pretending I was a Peanut Seller at the baseball game. I would walk around the living room asking my Grandparents if they wanted fresh, hot peanuts.
“Peanuts here!” I announced.
“How much?” My Grandfather asked, playing along.
“$1.00? That’s a deal,” he replied. “I’ll take two.” He handed me his pretend money, I made change and then walked away.
Of course two minutes later I was back asking him if he wanted peanuts again. However, he never frustrated, even though he was trying to watch the baseball game.
Grandpa Morris taught me all about the rules of baseball as I got older. He told me what R-H-E stood for and explained exactly where the invisible strike box was. He made sure I understood the game and rooted for our hometown team, The Mets. (During the late 1990’s I defected and became a Yankees Fan.)
Many of my fondest memories of my Grandfather revolve around sitting in the living room of his Condo or my parents house watching a baseball game. No matter how old I got or how cool I thought I was, I always loved watching baseball with my Grandfather. I’m not sure what it was about that game that brought us closer together. Perhaps it was the fact that he was teaching me; passing knowledge on to me so that I could impart it to the next generation. Or instead, could it be that he, an immigrant from Russia, wanted to enjoy the Great American Pastime with his only grandchild? I’m not sure. Regardless of his motivation, whenever I watch a baseball game on TV or in person, my mind immediately turns to my Grandfather, who instilled a love of the game inside of me.
Literacy Consultant. Author. Former 4th and 5th Grade Classroom Teacher.