March 16, 2014 by genelup
I never wanted to become a patriarch, but lately I discovered I was one. I don’t know when it happened. I guess when my dad died in 1998. Or, maybe when I became a granddad eight years ago.
I never had a grandparent, so I guess I have to do my patriarchal role by the “seat of my pants.” No grandparent, you may ask? Yes! I never had a hug from a grandparent, and I never even had a conversation with my grandmother, the only grandparent I ever remembered having. My mother came to America when she was 14, and to this day I have never met anyone – grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. – on her side of the family. My dad’s father died when I was 2, so I don’t remember him. My grandmother — my dad’s mother — only spoke Slovak, so I never spoke to her…and she never spoke to me. The only time I remember ever being in the same room with her was when I was about 9 and she visited us and she prayed in Slovak and I thought it was funny and I laughed.
I guess the closest I ever came to having a grandparent was the few times I was about 7 when we lived in California and my parents visited some friends, one of which had an elderly father living with them. Mr. Olsen took me out to the chicken yard and we gathered eggs together. The last time I saw him he gave me a small, leather coin purse to put my pennies and nickels in. And now, at age 76, I still have that gift from that old man. I’ve always considered him as my grandfather, although when at age 8 when we moved to Arizona I never saw him again.
And now I am an elderly man, and patriarch, to my family. May I be special to my