This is a continuation of my previous post about my Grandmother ...


Ever since I can remember my Dad's parents were Beat-up Grandma and Grandpa. To me, growing up, it was the best name you could possibly have. It was only later on in life, after receiving awkward facial reactions and questions from 'outsiders' when I'd mention Beat-up Grandma and Grandpa, that made me think "perhaps this is not normal". But I knew no different. And so the story as to how this unique term of endearment came to be:

Staying over Beat-up Grandma and Grandpa's house was the best days of our lives!! We always slept with Grandma, in her room. I remember it vividly; soft pink painted walls, creamy lace curtains strewn on the windows and a very distinct powdery fresh smell. On the largest wall, above the two twin beds, hung three black and white baby portraits of my Dad and his two bothers. They all appeared nearly identical, you'd think they were triplets. Somehow the four of us shared the two twin beds during sleepovers, my Grandfather had a separate room in which he slept. 

Due to excitement and/or being crazy kids, we would be up at the crack of dawn with Grandma. We'd gather in the kitchen and watch her cook us scrambled eggs for breakfast. I can still envision the red electric skillet she would use and the smell - the indescribable aroma - of not only Grandma's eggs cooking, but her house. One of those scents you wish you could bottle up and keep with you forever and ever.   

Once breakfast was cooked and ready we would stare at Grandma "patiently" awaiting her approval to go 'wake up' Grandpa ... to go 'beat him up'. When she would finally gave us the OK, the three of us would storm into my his bedroom, climb onto his twin bed (of which he was peacefully sleeping on) and wrestle and tickle him to get him awake. I don't think we ever won in the "beat him (Grandpa) up" game, as he would inevitably tickle us to the point of tears and we would be giggling so hard our stomachs hurt. 

Somewhere along the line (very early), "beat him up" turned into "beat-up" ... resulting in Beat-up Grandma and Grandpa. A name that quickly stuck and warms my heart to this day.

If I could describe the simple joy and euphoria those times and moments brought me ... and still brings me, I wouldn't be a photographer but a world renowned writer. Nothing compares to it. I can only wish that my children get to experience the same with their Grandparents one day.