So my mom told me a story...

Growing up, my mom and her siblings would make banana bread every week.

Literally every week since the first one of them learned how to make it, they started making banana bread- lo and behold though, they liked it with walnuts and they all knew their dad hated walnuts.

So they made a special loaf of banana bread just for him every week, just for him to eat. Nobody else was allowed to eat it because that was his banana bread, baked especially for him.

So anyways, they did this once a week from middle school up until every last one of them moved out of the house (and considering there was at least 10 years difference from the oldest to the youngest, this was quite some time). So that’s like… 16 years of weekly banana bread. And he always finished it. He, without fail, ate the whole loaf of bread by himself.

That’s approximately 835 loaves of banana bread.


Skip ahead a few years…

and they’re all visiting and baking banana bread and they start making a dad’s bread and their mom comes in, “I don’t think he can handle eating one more slice of banana bread!”

“What are you talking about? He loves banana bread! He had it all the time!”

This is when my grandma, their mom, broke the news that my grandfather loathed banana bread with every fiber of his being. He just adored that his kids loved him enough to make him a special loaf of banana bread every week (and he didn’t have the heart to tell them that he couldn’t stand banana bread) and he was incredibly, utterly upset that my grandma told the kids his big secret.

My grandfather was a loving, patient, gentle man who absolutely hated banana bread but loved his kids so much more and I just wanted to share that with you guys. I think this story is just about the perfect example of the kind of person he was.

The best (and most romantic) way of describing Johnlock. From my 86 year old Grandpa
  • Grandpa: You know, I think Sherlock and John might end up together.
  • Gramma: You think they're homosexual?
  • Grandpa: Not really.
  • Gramma: So what do you mean you think they'll end up together?
  • Grandpa: (frustrated) I think that they're perfect for each other! I mean, just look at them together!
  • Gramma: (raises an eyebrow)
  • Grandpa: Stop with the homosexual! They should be with each other because they GO together! They make each other happy! Isn't that what being in a good relationship's about?
  • Grandpa: Saying someone's homosexual is like saying I love blonds.
  • Gramma: You do like blonds dear.
  • Grandpa: But you're not blond.
  • Gramma: No... I'm not.
  • Grandpa: You never have been! I feel in love with you with brown hair and stayed in love when you turned grey. I love you for you. Grey or brunette, young or old. Just like John and Sherlock.
  • Gramma: (smiling)
  • Grandpa: John may like women like I like blonds, but that doesn't mean he's going to ignore someone perfect for him just because it's not a woman. And Sherlock clearly loves him.
  • Gramma: I thought you said he's not interested in any of that.
  • Grandpa: Maybe not in other people. But look how he looks at John! He looks at him like I looked at you on our wedding day. It's love. Not something so trivial as whether he's a man or woman.
  • Grandpa: (out of breath)
  • Gramma: I knew I married you for a reason.

Remembering a Generation with @notmynonni

To view more photos and videos of nonni all over the world, browse the hashtag #notmynonni and follow @notmynonni and @tianapix on Instagram.

Italy Instagrammer Tiana Kai Madera (@tianapix) captioned one of her photos “not my nonna,” using the affectionate word for “grandma” in Italian. When her community was amused by the happy nature of the shot, she started the account @notmynonni (nonni means “grandparents”) to capture quintessential Italian scenes of elderly people going about their daily lives—in the streets, in winter coats, or standing next to old cars. “The older the nonni, the more moved people get—and I hope to capture Italy and all of its nonni,” she explains.

Tiana’s grandfather, to whom the account is dedicated, had Sicilian parents. She says she feels closer to him after moving to Florence from Miami. “I see my grandpa in many nonni that I photograph,” she says. “Some I stop and chat with, others I smile and move on and sometimes assist them if they need help down a step. Each of us has a nonno or nonna inside these strangers.”

Other Instagrammers joined in, using the #notmynonni hashtag to share photos of other people’s grandpas and grandmas.

Tiana feels the love for the account comes from the fact that “everyone has an elderly figure that they love,” and she enjoys seeing people share affectionate photos of nonni all over the world.

“This project reminds us to be kind, to love our family and others.”

The signs as grandparents

Aries: the grandpa who says he’ll fight anyone but totally couldn’t

Taurus: the grandma who has all the best recipes and smells like cookies 

Gemini: the grandpa who has the coolest stories ever but he’s told them too many times

Cancer: the grandma that always forgets your birthday so she sends you money four times a year with sweet letters

Leo: the grandma who will travel across the world to make sure you’ve eaten something today

Virgo: the grandpa who complains about everything so you don’t have to

Libra: the grandma who can make anything with a needle and thread

Scorpio: the grandma who was a total badass when she was younger

Sagittarius: the grandpa who has practically been everywhere and has tons of trinkets from the places

Capricorn: the grandpa who offers to do anything with you and takes you to fun places

Aquarius: the grandpa who looks stern but is the kindest guy on the planet

Pisces: the grandma who always gives the best hugs and is so sweet

Please fire me. I work at a greeting card store and found myself in the receiving end of lots of yelling and an official complaint from a customer that could not deal with the fact that we didn’t have any “Happy Birthday Nana” cards.

We only had “Happy Birthday Grandma/Gran/Nan/Grandmother/Granny” and that was unacceptable.

10 things I’ve learnt from my grandparents.
1) You can love each other and still piss each other off.
2) Sandwiches taste better cut into squares.
3) Hugs are healing.
4) You are never too old for Disney films.
5) 60’s music is probably the best music.
6) There are more ways to say “I love you” than you could possibly imagine.
7) It’s worth travelling 3 hours to spend half an hour with the person you love.
8) You can learn from your mistakes.
9) Getting older doesn’t mean you have to be old.
10) Laughter is the most powerful thing.
—  My grandparents.