For just over a year, my family has been getting together for a BBQ at my grandparents’ house. It all started when my brother got the idea for all five grandkids to cook Christmas dinner. The parents and grandma were allowed to supervise and teach but not really cook. None of us could really afford to buy gifts for the family members and this was a way for my brother, cousin Donald and I to show Acacia and Marisa how to cook.
We decided to have the family BBQs mainly because my grandfather’s health is failing. He has a form of Dementia and we tell people it’s like having an almost 79-year-old toddler in the house. Pa and I have always been close and it’s hard to watch him go through this. We lost my great-grandmother (my grandma’s mom) almost seven years ago to Alzheimer’s and now we are watching Pa do the same thing only faster. Pa’s had quite a few concussions in his life.
It’s really hard for me because Pa and I were fishing buddies and I’ve only gone fishing twice in my life without him and only once since he and I were unable to. Pa taught me how to tie flies when I was a kid and I remember him hunched behind me showing me how to get the feathers wrapped around to hook just right.
All of us grandkids are almost grown. Our ages are 31, 29 (my birthday is in 10 days, close enough), 21, (almost) 19, and 16. Soon all five of us will be out on our own, My brother and I have had apartments for the last four to six years. We use the time we can find to spend some time together before us kids go off and start living our lives. Because of these dinners, I have learned how to BBQ. I hold so many memories of my family at these dinners. We have been taking turns on who is going to cook. My brother has done quite a bit of the cooking. Last week it was up to my grandma and Marisa and we had Chicken Parmesan and spaghetti. The week before that I made hamburgers and hot dogs. Up next… pizza.