About 2002 or so, my dad's dad died. Thud, dead. Not only did this give my current car (which has lived well, but shall soon have to be retired...), I drove my dad down to a meeting with several members of what was left of Dad's dad family.
I learned a lot about my Dad on that drive, all the sorts of stories and tales and such that I should have learned years ago...mostly because my Dad's dad family and Dad's dad got alienated from each other after the death of his mother and that he didn't give up the kids (i.e. Dad and his brother) immediately for adoption. I don't know anybody of Dad's family beyond his father, a short man that survived World War II, made a home, worked his ass off even when he grew old.
About two weeks later, I got the basic hardware needed to make beer, an ingredients kit, and made my first batch of beer ever with my Dad.
And, about five years later and much beer, I know my Dad a lot better. I've got more reasons to talk with him. I've learned a lot from him, and we've learned more about each other.
We do need to make more beer...Mom is going to be in one of those "not good" situations in a few years and I need more stories from him.