I want to introduce you to my Opa. For those of you who don’t speak German, that would be my Grandpa. He’s definitely a pillar in our family. He’s someone I look up to, and I sometimes dream of following in his footsteps and getting my doctorate too. I don’t know if it’ll ever happen, but I certainly appreciate the work that he did to earn that title! I’ve also got many memories of moments with Opa that stand out in my mind.
One memory came back on Sunday when we were talking with friends about the “snowballs” that we recently pulled back out for Sarabeth to play with. They are fluffy tennis ball sized balls that are meant for throwing. They’re great for Texas where we don’t get much snow! We were the proud recipients of these balls two years ago when we did a My Favorite Things gift exchange with our entire family. Dad picked them out, and they quickly became a favorite item of everyone. We had a massive snow ball fight inside with my parents, brothers, cousins and even the puppy got involved in the action! I remember looking over at Opa during the snowball fight and seeing the biggest grin on his face as he wound up and took aim. He jumped right in the fun.
A Family of Memories
One thing our family has always seemed to do well was focus on creating memories. Rather than focusing on what we can get from someone, we come together to spend the time in community. Whenever we’re in town together, we come together for a meal and conversation.
Opa and Oma (Grandma) found ways to make memories with simple things. Whenever we would visit them as children, we would go on a hunt for a Fivel stuffed animal. Oma took the time to hide him somewhere new and we would have to find him to earn the honor of sleeping with him the first night.
Pretty Pretty Princess is a game most guys try to shy away from. Not Opa. I’ve got memories of him clipping the earrings to his glasses as he spent precious time with us.
And recently we all got to go to Hawaii together. It was a family trip that has created memories that will last. Driving the Road to Hana with dad and Opa and finding an awesome little food stand at the end of the journey. Snorkeling. Swimming with dolphins. Those memories are now tied to family.
Creating Moments that Last
Opa has taught us all the importance of coming together. Of bringing family together for support. To love and cheer one another on. Celebrating new experiences. Struggling together in the hard times. There’s a support that’s forged when you spend that time as family together. When you take the time to do normal life events together, a bond is formed that can’t quickly be broken.
How are you creating those moments for your family? Do you have a bond that will last because of memories?