*Please Note*
As of July 2015 many photos have been intentionally removed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Will the real Cap and Gramps please stand up?

A few days ago, our entire family gathered to celebrate 60 years of marriage for Cap and Gramps. Pulling together almost 50 people from across several states is no easy task. My mom and Aunt Gracie were up to the challenge. As all the children, grandchildren and great grandchildren were running about, as all the stories were being exchanged, as all the food was being consumed, one thought was foremost on my mind.....
How'd they do it?
How did Cap and Gramps lay the groundwork for this grand scene? You can't tell me that 60 years ago they knew where they were headed. Did they have some crystal ball? Is it tucked away somewhere along with the instructions on how to raise a perfect family? Yeah, yeah I know, our family isn't perfect. No such family, business or homestead exists. However, if I can manage to somehow assemble a family environment that barely echoes the brand of perfection seen inside that Tottenville gym a week ago, I'll consider myself a greatly blessed man.
Everyday, I look into the eyes of my smiling son and I am consumed by the awesome responsibility that is fatherhood. I must impart to him, wisdom. I must teach him how to love. I must teach him how to give of himself. I must show him how to find value in the trials of life. He must learn the joy of a true friendship. In the midst of all these lessons, my mind also goes to the practical, everyday aspects of crafting for Aiden, what Cap and Gramps carved out for all of us.
I must be responsible in the workplace. I must provide for him a safe and comfortable home. How did they do it? High school education was the order of the day. Credit cards did not exist as we know them today. There was no internet service to pay for every month. No such thing as cell phones, and history tells us that nobody was paying one hundred dollars a month to watch reality television. They had all the reality they could handle within the walls of 473 O’Gorman Ave. Some will say to me, look to your faith, lean not on your own understanding. Done. I have very little anyway.
The faith that Cap and Gramps claimed as their own was different, at least at some point, than mine has been for some time. Perhaps there is comfort in that? Still, in terms of the nuts and bolts of how they arrived at point B from point A, faith is something difficult to duplicate. It takes on different meanings for everyone.
In the near future, Kris and I, with vastly different tools and life experiences than those of Cap and Gramps, will need to make decisions for the future of our family. The assortment of qualifications we bring to the table should trump anything they had going for them back in the day.......right?? After all, we have already been married for ten years, we are well educated and our earning potential far exceeds anything they could have foreseen. I'll tell you what... I wouldn't go head to head with them regardless of the odds. I'll take the underdog with a load of common sense and street smarts over the bankrolled Harvard grad any day.

The photo above was handed out as a party favor. It shows the two guests of honor at the beginning of their marriage, perhaps when they first became engaged.
It wasn't until we arrived home, in PA, that Kris realized who this photograph actually was of.
She told me, " I just assumed it was some random couple, like the type of picture that comes from the store when you buy a new frame." I'm not sure what is funniest about that statement. Perhaps that Kris assumed the actual party favor was the nifty 5x7 plastic picture frame.(pictured below)
Silly Kris
My money is on Cap and Gramps.

10 comments:

Riter said...

What a great looking couple!!

Barbara Ann said...

Love was always life and life was always love at 473 O'Gorman.For Cap and Gramps, family was everything. They cherished their children and did nothing without them. They didn't spend money on their own entertainment or go out on 'dates.' But they could be spotted kissing in the kitchen very often!
I don't think they ever left us with a babysitter, family or otherwise. Mom didn't work, but at times Dad held down 3 jobs to make ends meet.
If they wanted to see a movie, we all saw it together. We went to the "open air" or "drive in" movie often. We played lots of games together, went on hikes, took family vacations, and lots of long rides with more "car games" and ice cream stops. There weren't a lot of restaurants , but there were a lot of picnics. Mom didn't spend money to beautify herself. As you can see, she was a natural beauty. They always thought of the kids first, financially and otherwise. Mom prepared home cooked meals every day and we ate at the dinner table. Sometimes Dad would have to have the strap handy but I never remember him using it. We were taught to value family and Gramps often spoke of how horrible it was when children spoke negatively about their parents with their friends. They NEVER verbally put us down. They loved us with their words, their touch, and their quality time. As far as gifts go- we were taught, "if you ask, you don't get!'We were definitely not spoiled in that way. Cap and Gramps always made sure we had new clothes for a new school year and all our supplies, a "merry" Christmas, and beautiful Easter outfits. No more space! I could go on and on!

Peter said...

What I remember Gramps teaching was financial responsibility. He said that your mortgage payment should not be more than one week's pay. These days, with cell phones, cable tv, credit cards, and student loans it is hard to imagine. At the same time, imagine where we would be if everyone in the US tried to follow that guideline.

marietta said...

how great it is to see a couple married and loving each other for so long. we should take a lesson from them. gramps is always by caps side. in sicknesss and health. idont know to many people who would honor that part of thier vows. God bless you Cap and Gramps You guys rock

NanaNYC said...

We asked Cap and Gramps if they wanted to renew their vows for their 60th, and Gramps replied,
"No, I meant it the first time!"

marietta said...

gramps you are so cute that was sweet.

Tom said...

Beautiful post...you are truly blessed. Sorry just catching up on my reading now...

Barbarananny said...

So grateful for my past, present, and future!!!

Barbarananny said...

IT WAS A GREAT PARTY FOR A GREAT COUPLE!!! They loved each other intensely and they loved their family. THEY LOVED THEIR 3 kids and their spouses and their 11 grandkids. TO BE BORN INTO THIS FAMILY WAS TO BE LOVED. Nothing beats that!!!! THERE ARE NOW 19 great grandchildren and 2 more on the way!!! ALL THESE lives are continually influenced by the LOVE and example of Cap and Gramps...



Firstborn(BARB) said...

Cap and Gramps, FOREVER!!!!