Can a place really mold who you are? I believe so. So much of who I am is because of the time I spent in Lisbon, Connecticut. I’ve been thinking recently about my time growing up in Lisbon, Connecticut on Graham Terrace, probably because my Bestest has been mentioning how fortunate I was to have had that experience.
I’ve written here many times about growing up in Lisbon. It was my safe place, my security zone. My best friend lived around the corner, there was that ubiquitous fishing hole down the street, my maternal grandparents (especially, my grandfather) made a huge impact on my life. My grandfather was the male role model I experienced growing up. As I may have mentioned here previously, my grandfather taught me to fish. He gave me me my photography obsession, buying me my first camera for my tenth birthday. He was my confidant. He taught me to respect people and be sensitive to others, putting others first.
The time I spent in Lisbon became so special that after I graduated from high school, I returned to attend college there for two years. I didn’t have the same experience and I now understand why. It’s because as I tell my Bestest all the time:
Life is about moving forward, not going back. You can’t go back!
My grandfather was a sensitive soul, very emotional, very loving, quick to forgive, and extremely demonstrative. I learned all of these traits from him. You know that old saying:
Children learn what they live.
Because my grandfather was the primary male role model in my life, I naturally absorbed his personality. Like him, I’m quick to forgive. I’m extremely sensitive. Sometimes I wonder if I’m too sensitive, if I take the emotional hurt I receive too deeply. I know, however that it’s who I am and I’m comfortable with it. I can’t change who I am and I wouldn’t want to.
–I CAN take the hurt I receive a little too deeply.
— I’m more aware of others and I feel their pain more than I feel my own.
–I’m more empathic than many of my friends.
–I have a greater feeling for what may happen in the future.
I’m very demonstrative, loving, quick to hug someone if they need it, quick to show my emotions. Sometimes, maybe too quick to become emotional, sometimes maybe to my detriment. However, as I said above, I can’t change that about myself. Nor would I want to.
My Bestest has told me countless times how fortunate I am to have had my grandfather in my life. She has said he did an amazing job helping me become the person I am. She should know seeing as I spend so much time with her. I wish sometimes now that I’m writing this column that she would have come into my life sooner so my maternal grandparents could have known her as I do. I think they would become fast friends as I have done with her. I’ve been so fortunate in my life to have had so many good people come into my experience:
My maternal grandparents.
My Aunt Bet, My Fairy Godmother.
See now? Aunt Bet would have been someone else I would dearly have loved for my Bestest to have met. Because my Maternal Grandparents and my Aunt Bet played such significant roles in my life I would have loved for them to have met each other. They each made such a huge impact on my life I’d love to see them all interact with each other. I’d love to be a fly on the wall listening to their conversations.
My best friend, Joe in Lisbon while growing up.
My friends, Jason, Julie and Tim.
My Bestest now.
I miss my grandparents more now than I have in the past, only because I’ve been thinking more about them, because when I’m with my Bestest I can’t help but think about what it would be like if they had met. Oh, the stories they could have told each other:
My grandparents regaling her with the distant past.
Her telling my grandparents how much they influenced me growing up. I can almost close my eyes and hear the stories going back and forth.
However, I should be grateful (and I am) that I’ve been able to have so many good people in my life. And I understand that people come and go into our lives for specific reasons:
My friend, Jason came along when my friend, Joe left. A door closed (Joe) and a window opened (Jason.)
I see these things more clearly now that I’m in this paradigm. I understand this isn’t possible but it is nice to fantasize about. Do you have someone important in your own life that you wish you have met family who have since transitioned?
Be Happy! Be Well! Be Positive!
Blessings to you.
Once you realize that life is eternal,
That our souls our eternal,
That we return to light and physical over and over;
We then lose all our distress
We then lose all our fear of dying. For there truly is no end.