Retroactively Caffeinated Chat

This week’s retro post has the elements of my Retro Sunday and Virtually Caffeinated Chat series. Combine the two and we get a twist on both.

For a while now, I’ve had a recurring idea about a chat with someone who passed away long ago, when life was very different. Initially, the idea was to introduce someone to modern society and surmise their reaction but that idea lost its appeal soon after I started. I decided to pick someone I’d always wanted to meet and focus on what I would tell that person if we could have a chat over coffee. The one person I keep coming back to is my maternal grandfather, whom I never had the opportunity to meet or forge a relationship. He passed away when my mother was 4 so even she didn’t really get to know her father. By all accounts, he was a good man who doted on my grandmother and their children; he was much older and, in those times, the life expectancy was far shorter than it is today. In 1934, men were expected to live until age 59 and my grandfather was 62 when he died. His oldest daughter was 12, so he never got the chance to see his 5 children grow up and have families of their own. My guess is that he would have loved being around to watch his family grow and we would have loved having him around, too.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I would tell him how much I’d always wanted to meet him and that I only ever got to meet/know his wife ~ my grandmother ~ out of all 4 grandparents. I would tell him that I felt blessed for having 38 years with my grandmother and that I admire her for being such a strong woman who single-handedly raised 5 children to be good people. I’d also tell him that I believe her presence in our home provided a multi-generational influence that greatly benefitted us. I would make sure he knew how many grandchildren {19}, great-grandchildren {30}, and great-great-grandchildren {10} he and my grandmother now have. I would then tell him about my close relationship with my mother and how she came to be my best friend. I’d tell him about the Saturday shopping excursions we took when I was growing up and how she would always try to beat me at Scrabble. I would tell him that she was my rock through all the adversity in my life and that he would be very proud of how wonderful a mom she was as a result of having my grandmother and aunts as her role models.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I’d brag about my kiddos and how I consider them to be my greatest gifts ever. I’d tell him about our special birthdays ~ that my son was nearly born on my birthday and my daughter was born on my half-birthday. I’d also tell him that my daughter’s birthday is the same as his, 127 years apart. I would tell him that my son is very protective and supportive of his sister and me, that he has a great sense of humor, and enjoys music. I would tell him that my daughter is artistically and musically talented and that she never fails to make me proud. I’d tell him that I’m going to be a “gran” myself and how excited I am since I’ve gotten used to the idea. I’d talk about the things my kiddos and I have survived and how blessed we are to have each other.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I’d ask him about his life and how he came to meet my grandmother. I would ask him about the day he got married to my grandmother and about the days his children were born. I’d ask him about his education and occupations. I’d ask him if he ever went to China and the places he traveled, if at all. I’d ask him what he did for entertainment back then and how he and my grandmother spent their evenings. I’d want to know if he was a reader or had any creative talent. I would tell him that my mother and I always had a great love for the library, always borrowing as many books as we could read in a two-week period. I’d tell him that he would be very proud to know that our family has plenty of artistic and musical talent.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I’d tell him about the technology available today and all the things we can do with computers and smartphones. I would tell him that despite its benefits, technology has had some adverse effects on our society. I would tell him about the “rat-race” and how the pressures of modern life have changed how we deal with stress. I wouldn’t want to tell him too many negative things during our conversation, so I would tell him about the “Pay-It-Forward” practice and how, despite all the bad that happens in the world today, there are genuine people who successfully continue to restore our faith in humanity.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I’d ask him about the things that brought him happiness, his goals, dreams, dislikes, and fears. I’d ask him about the lessons he learned throughout his life and the advice he would offer, based on those lessons. I’d listen to him talk about the things he considered most important {taking notes, of course}, enjoying the sound of his voice, taking note of his accent and speech patterns.

If my Grandfather and I were having coffee right now…I would tell him how much I love him, how special he is to me, and how much our conversation means to me. I’d hug him again for a long time before saying, “Goodbye, Grandpa.” I’d never had the opportunity to call someone “Grandpa”. I’d probably cry because I hate saying goodbye and then I would watch him leave, knowing that I would never, ever forget the moments spent with him. ❤

This post was an interesting one to write. I thought about the things I would say to my grandfather if I’d ever had the chance to talk to him. I thought about everything I don’t know about him and how hungry I am for information about him because I know so little. It’s not a conversation that will ever happen, but it was somewhat comforting to imagine how such a conversation would unfold {even if I can’t accurately predict his responses}. When it comes to writing, I’ve learned that it’s necessary for me to “push the boundaries” a little because it helps me to think about how I might approach writing a different post idea to make it relatable, readable…evocative.

Who would you have coffee/dinner with and why? What would you say? Would it be a funny conversation or a serious one? Would you rant at them to gain closure and cleansing? How would this conversation affect you? I invite you to explore this concept and write a post of your own.

5 thoughts on “Retroactively Caffeinated Chat

  1. Oh! That’s quite a challenge, Carol. The invitation to write about my own coffee/dinner conversation, I mean. Maybe in due course, as I couldn’t possibly reach your heights. I adore your writing 🙂 More hugs!
    PS I am going to Tweet this right now. It deserves a wider audience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Writing this was a great exercise. I may write another in the future, focusing on someone else, like Diana, Princess of Wales.

      Thank you for your ongoing support of my blog/writing. I know I said this on Twitter, but I really do appreciate you sharing my work on your social media. {Hugs}

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I was blessed by growing up within a ten minute drive (or a walk) of all 4 of my grandparents. My maternal grandpa was my favorite of them all. I take after him in attitudes. We both say what we feel, whether or not it is politically correct to do so! He was half native American Black Foot Indian, because his mom was full blooded. Wish I had gotten the chance to meet my great grandma. Grandpa taught me all about how they lived on the reservation in Oklahoma. He gave my mother the name his mom was given of Martha. My mom never got to meet her grandma, because she passed away long before she was born.


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