Losing a loved one is never easy. But then again, are they truly lost? They may no longer be beside you, within a short drive to visit, or able to talk with you, but are they really truly lost?
My short answer is no.
I have felt closer to my grandfather this week than when he died almost 7 years ago.
I have thought more often and laughed and cried more at memories of my grandmother more this week than the past two years put together.
I have discovered in just the past few days that their memory, their legacy, their talents, their wisdom, their knowledge through hardships, their love, will never ever be lost.
As I write I’m sitting her eating hard pretzels with a smile lit on my face. My grandfather loved pretzels. Often times my parents would have my grandparents’ baby sit my sister and I for a day or three (like on their anniversary) and we would get to experience life with them. A favorite pastime of mine was to lay nestled against my grandpop on his big recliner watching old movies with the likes of Bob Hope, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Bing Crosby, Abbott and Costello, etc. He would bring out a huge plastic tub of hard pretzels and we would eat them together as we would laugh at the movie.
Meanwhile my grandmom would sometimes join us, or be in the adjoining kitchen cooking, cleaning, reading, or knitting.
Grandmom might not have been a chef and tended to use Pillsbury a lot and over boil vegetables, but she tried her hardest to create dishes she knew her grandkids loved. And she succeeded beautifully! I loved her cooking, and enjoyed watching her cook while Amy and I playfully sock skated on their always waxed kitchen floor.
She made one dish in particular to utter perfection: Macaroni and Cheese! Oh, it was heavenly! To this day I make my own mac and cheese with her in mind and model it after hers. She would have a large casserole dish, fill it with all the cheesy goodness mixed with elbow pasta, and then she would top it with breadcrumbs and finally cut butter all over the top. Into the oven it went. Meanwhile she simmered on the stovetop stewed tomatoes with lots of herbs and garlic. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. Wish I had a picture to share of that yummy beauty!
Grandmom also LOVED to read. Always romance novels though. She had boxes and boxes of them! I share her passion, although mine involves thrillers, classics, and mysteries with, of course, romance intertwined!
The love I have for the sea and ocean runs deep within me. And I know I got it from them. Grandpop loved his sail boats and being on the water. I never got the chance to sail with him, but I look forward to one day sailing with them in heaven!
My love for writing and art are not a secret to you all. I don’t consider myself an expert on either field, but I have a drive and passion to always improve and get better.
My grandpop didn’t consider himself an expert either, but he greatly enjoyed many artistic hobbies and passed each of them down to the next generations.
I had already known he loved to paint. I inherited with great excitement one of my favorite paintings of his:
This week though, I also learned he had a hidden love to write, however small it was! (Because this is the only piece I know of)…
How fascinating is that?! I love that the poem ends with the type of humor he always had. He always had a joke or a laugh on his lips. He was a joy to be around and talk to. Him and my grandmom were always joking with each other and playfully bantering back and forth. He’d tease her, and she loved it. She’d jump into his lap and plant a kiss on him and he’d shout “Get off Marie!” but his eyes twinkled and then he’d laugh.
I yearned for their kind of love at an early age. I thank them, and my parent’s undying love, for showing me what true love really was. It taught me to wait for my soul mate, and that’s exactly what I did! (gah, love you so freakin’ much, Andrew!!)
And those are just a few of the talents, loves, and lessons these two have passed on to me. I’m only one of 6 grandkids, and they have 5 great grandkids (plus 2 more are joining the family through marriage soon) that have their own stories to tell.
(My son Riker, and my cousin Donna’s son Travis)
So no, they will never be lost to us. Not only their memory stays, but many pieces of them travel down to each of those that are left on this earth to continue on the journey.
See you later Grandpop & Grandmom!