I Have Been Patiently Waiting

I’m quite the sentimental old fool in reality, something my family knows about me I guess.

At least some of them.

I lived with my Mother’s parents after the age of 15 and basically grew up at their place anyway as a child and then after my Maternal Grandmother and then my own Mother died, my Grandfather packed up everything he owned into the biggest U-Haul trailer you could get, bought a brand new 1979 Ford F-150 to drag it and moved back to his ancestral homelands in Tennessee shortly after my 19th birthday.


I then moved in with my Father’s Mom and lived there until I was 20 or so and started working construction jobs that I had to travel to.

I had dropped out of school when I took off from home at age 15 and missed a year but wound up going back to a different school and finally graduated, just fucking barely, at age 19.

So my Grandparents were more like actual parents to me when I was young. It’s a complicated fucked up mess but you get the idea and now I will get to my point.

I tried to grab some keepsakes after these people died. My Mom really didn’t have a damn thing, she basically drank herself to death and had lost her marbles years before that so she didn’t have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. She died 5 days before my 20th birthday at age 39.

I had some of her Mom’s stuff but not a lot and when her Dad died in ’99, me and my little brother flew back to his funeral in Tennessee. He had an entire shop full of shit I would have loved to have had but when you are Flying The Friendly Skies, you cant be hauling a bunch of shit back with you. I did manage to snag some wood planes and a couple of other things. Check in was interesting, I knew they were going to X-Ray my heavy assed bag so I told the guy up front what the deal was. Notice this was Pre- 9/11. The guy was cool and I had no problems. I did finally wind up with something else of his but I ain’t gonna mention exactly what that was.

Many years later, my other Grandmother died after a very long stay in a very nice home.

My Dad’s brother wound up taking care of her estate and after a bunch of other stuff got taken care of, asked me and my little Brother if we wanted any of her personal/household things before they had a big yard sale.

I was all over that like white on rice. My Brother apparently couldn’t be bothered.

I don’t have any Blood related kids, I was always afraid they would turn out to be wild assed crazy fuckers like me with the same serious personality flaws but I have raised kids from more than one relationship that came as a package deal and I can honestly say that it was the best thing I have ever done in my entire life. I love my kids fiercely and couldn’t be prouder of all of them. They turned out to be awesome adults, despite me.

My Brother had a son and a daughter but all of these relatives of ours either died before they were born or while they were still fairly young so they didn’t know them well, if at all.

This is why I have been saving these keepsakes all these damn years. So they have at least some kind of heirlooms. I have been packing some of this stuff around for literally forty years now. I have lost count of how many times I have moved in all those years. Twenty five, thirty? At least if not more. I’m a fuckin’ Gypsy.

Just a few minutes ago my little Niece left out of here with a whole bunch of that stuff I have been holding on to for all these years.

I have been pestering her for over a year to get her narrow little ass over here and get this stuff. Always with the excuses. Today was the day though and she was very glad she finally came over.

Things got a little emotional at one point but she was absolutely thrilled to get her hands on it.

Old China, some pictures, an antique sewing machine, an antique all glass kerosene lamp and I told her that it was just a start. I still have shit stashed away that I am going to have to do some serious digging to drag back into the light of day

All of it is older than I am and I’ll be sixty years old next January, Lord Willing.

So yeah, I’m a Pack Rat all right but in this one case, it was for a damn good reason and now I can rest easy in the knowledge that she already treasures every bit of it and my little seven year old Great Niece is gong to have something passed on to her when she gets older.

Crazy old Uncle Phil did good today.


11 thoughts on “I Have Been Patiently Waiting

  1. Well done. Somebody once said “When you hold your first grandchild, you will know why you were put here on this earth”.

    I keep my clothes in a dresser that was my maternal grandfather’s. My wife and I eat at a table that was re-finished by my father and that I sat at in a high chair. During holidays, we add leaves, and it seats the whole family, just as it always has.


  2. Its often the little things that get stuck in your psyche. When my maternal Grandmother passed away, the families were told they could take two items to remember her by. I chose a Wagner cast iron skillet and an indeterminate branded stove top Dutch oven. Whenever my Aunts visit our home and I cook on them, all of them get misty eyed on the meals Grandma cooked using those implements. Grandma cooked their daily meals at home and in camp (the family often left Texas to pick crops all over the U.S.A). They were U.S. citizen migrant farm workers, picking cotton and many different types of vegetables.

    So from humble beginnings, the memories began.

    Money doesn’t matter as much as the memories they instill.


  3. My kids are going to want almost none of my stuff. Anything they wanted, they already have. My kids just aren’t into keeping stuff, no matter how old or how many ancestors owned it before them.


  4. I hear ya bud … I got a call from my 30 old year old son … Telling me his mother passed away with a brain hemorrhage Thursday … I’ve got a funeral to go to Friday … Gotta be there for my son … Tough gig …


  5. My Pretty Wife’s Godfather left me the Shaper Gage he made to qualify for his apprenticeship to be a Tool and Die man. I also received his 1-2-3 blocks, die sinking files and Starret punch striking hammer (the one with the magnifying glass in the middle). He had four sons and none followed into the trades and he appreciated that I was an engineer who could actually build stuff from scratch. He’s gone to his great reward and his tools will be going to my daughter (mechanical engineer too) once I throw off this mortal coil. He finished out his career at the Ford plant in Chicago making big ass body section stamping dies. He learned his trade at Pullman Tech during WWII. He was exempted from the draft because he had a special needed skill for the war machine.

    This is what I tell young kids about the ones who raised them: “Be kind to your parents, you have them for just a short time.”



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