Life , we all have different experiences, different life situations. I am so mesmerized by watching Brandon and Mark. Having a grandpa, having 3 grandpas. How lucky the little guy is.

brandon, fami;y, 2008, 2009 124 Mark smiles such a special smile when Brandon is present, that first interaction each time we get to spend some time with him is a picture perfect moment. And Brandon has a smile that will melt the snow on the coldest winter day, that will soften  even the toughest days. He totally trusts us, totally finds comfort in life.

I have read and studies often that it is the first 5 years of a child’s life that are so important. It creates a foundation for their entire future. As I look back at the first 5 years of my life I wonder how they made an impression on me now. It is things we can not see, or realize. I was born into a family that already had a 1 1/2 yr old and a  10 yr old sister and 2 older brothers that were in their 20s. We lives in a second floor apartment, maybe a 3 bedroom, I remember it was the top floor of a house in Bridgeport Conn. My grandmother lived with us, she was blind.I remember my grandmother maneuvering around the furniture and walls in the apartment. When I was around 1 1/2 my mom gave birth to a little girl, Betsy, she had no head formation to speak of, and so instead of my mom coming out of the hospital with a baby, she was empty handed, Betsy died. Then a year later she gave birth to a brother,  shortly after my grandmother had a stroke in our home, I watched her go through that, get taken away,  and a year and a half later another brother. 

So basically I only knew my mom with child those first 5 years, I had a dad that traveled, so I learned that we had to cherish the times we have together. That it is not the quantity of time but the quality of time spent. I learned twice about death , not able to understand it, but enough to know how it hurt to miss a person, and not be able to comprehend where they went, and to treasure each moment with people in your life. I learned about sisterly love and remember times of playing in the neighborhood when I was 2 and 3. I remember the little boy down in the lower apartment, Jimmy Totora ( I think was his name) He and I were the same age, so we played a lot together. I remember being able to walk on the side walk , sit on the porch, and ride my tricycle, with my sister and I outside playing , and my mom up in the apartment. Life was safe then. I remember one Spring, picking all 100 of my moms tulips, thinking I had found a special secret treasure, and upon presenting them to her, she cried, wept, (and not with joy) I was maybe 3 or 4 then. The smell of the lilac bush by the front porch.

So as an adult, I am a person that LOVES tulips. I LOVE lilacs, I was understanding when Mark traveled in the truck for a week at a time. I was independent enough to handle the household. I learned to treasure the times with Jeff, as after his dad and I split up I had to work, he had to go to day care- so time together was precious. I have learned to care for my eyes, and live in a place that should I ever lose my vision, I would be in a place that was open.100_2410

I truly hope that we will bring some fond memories to Brandon. He will remember how very much he was loved by his parents, his family. He will remember his Grandpa and Grandma Krusen, that there will be a special part of him that remembers  our love, our laughter, our hugs, and our guidance. To see him with Mark, to see his face light up when we come over, I am sure we are making memories. Good night little man, may the memories be etched in your mind, for comfort and smiles in years to come.

Love, Grandma… Mrs Justa,,,,Cindy

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