I knew my mom's parents. I'm lucky enough to have lived long enough to have good memories of the two, though I never saw them together. By the time I was born, or by the time I was old enough to retain memories, they were no longer living together.
I can still hear Nanny's voice in my head, speaking to me on the phone, hearing the enthusiasm as I shared the things that were going on in my childhood. I was living in Ottawa: she, in Châteauguay, on the outskirts of Montréal. Every time I hear my own mother, today, talking to my kids or, most recently, talking to my young niece, I hear a bit of Nanny.
Grandaddy never left a lasting impression, though I remember him clearly, remember how tall he was, compared to me, in my pre-teen years. He was a smoker: I remember he had a scratchy, Québecois accent, but his voice isn't as clear to me, as he mostly visited with my parents when we got together. When I try to hear his voice, one of my uncle's voices dominates that memory.
My only clear memory of Grandaddy was when he listened to me sing a song that I had learned on a French exchange to Québec City, and how he praised me for singing the song.
I later learned that it was a separatist song, a rallying cry for the Québec sovereigntist movement.
Grandaddy died when I was in my teens: I lost Nanny in my mid to late twenties. And, like my grandparents on my father's side, this is as far back as my family history takes me.
I want to know more.