It’s nearly 2 AM and I finally dragged myself out of bed after 2 hours of unsuccessfully trying to fall asleep. Between my left hip aching and burning and my mind wandering, I just can’t seem to drift off. I stopped a really bad nail biting habit 3 years ago and somehow in the last 2 hours, I managed to bite off and really, completely demolish the nail on my right thumb. It stings and typing is only making it worse. But what else am I to do? Everyone is asleep and I am sipping on some chocolate milk in hopes that my blood sugar will skyrocket and send me off into dreamland.
Tonight my heart is heavy. While I was laying in bed, trying to take my mind off of the pain in my left hip, I started to think about Grandma and Grandpa. I started to think of all of the holidays ahead and how even though Grandma wasn’t with us last year, we at least had Grandpa. And this year? They are both gone. And I’m wondering how my heart will be able to handle it? I guess with it being Z’s first Christmas, it will help lighten the mood a little. I mean, it’s the circle of life, right? So she is just starting the next round. But it’s hard to teach your heart to remember but not dwell.
I never wrote a tribute to Grandpa. Not on paper (or computer, however you want to look at it. Who uses paper these days?) anyway. I’ve written about a thousand of them in my head, late at night when I can’t fall asleep. I’ve told him how much I love him, I’ve talked about all of the great times I had with him as a kid and even as an adult, I’ve spoken of what a fantastic man he was and I’ve written things like “When I think about how I will never get to see his face again my heart feels like it is being suffocated with plastic wrap” or “If you could see the way Grandpa smiled at his Grandkids, your heart would explode with love.” But I haven’t typed it up and formed coherent sentences. Why? I don’t know. I’ve tried. I’ve come here time and time again and I just can’t get it out like I was able to with Grandma. Like I said before, my relationships with Grandma and Grandpa were different. They were both special in their own ways. I guess this one is just hard to articulate?
There are some things about Grandpa that I am going to miss the most and here are a few:
- How he used to always say “Boy, you sure are windy” whenever I would blabber on and on about any and everything when I was a kid. I’m so sad that Zoey will never get to experience this signature phrase of his.
- How he would click his tongue and pinch my sides to make me giggle.
- How much he loves his Grandkids (& Great Grandkid!). He could be in the grumpiest of moods but when he saw his Grandkids playing, you could always catch him smiling.
- Our fishing trips! We did a lot of fishing together, just Grandpa and I, when I was a kid and those are some of my best memories!
- Popcorn! Grandpa made the best air popcorn with REAL butter. He would then cut down a paper sack and make me a little “bowl” for my popcorn.
- There is obviously a lot more. I could go on and on.
You know, when you are a kid you don’t really think much about death. You may know about it, you may have ideas about where we go after we die, but you don’t really think too much about it. When you’re a kid, you don’t question your or anyone else’s mortality. In a kid’s eyes, your parents, your grandparents, your friends and the people you love will live forever.
And as naive as it sounds, I was completely devastated when my Grandma passed away because all of this time, I thought my Grandma and Grandpa would live forever. And even after Grandma died, I never really thought about Grandpa dying. I guess it’s just your mind’s way of coping with things. To just kind of put those negative icky-death thoughts on the back burner. Because if we lived fearing death every day, what kind of life would that be?? Not living at all, I’d imagine.
So, in conclusion, I hereby suggest that we start a Grandparents Immortality rally. Because I think Grandparents make life sweeter. They help create memories for children all around the world. They love like no other. So we should keep ‘em around, ya know? Who’s with me?
And just one last tidbit.. Here are a few things that I do in my life to help keep the memory of my Grandma & Grandpa alive:
- I toss a jug of water and tea bags out into the warm afternoon sun on a summer afternoon because my Grandma always had sun tea brewing!
- I use crocheted dish cloths to wash my dishes because my Grandma always had one draped over her sink.
- I use old vintage pyrex dishes to mix up recipes because my Grandma always had one out on her counter in the kitchen when she was cooking or baking.
- I make Gumdrop cookies from time to time because my Grandma always had some made for me whenever I came to visit because she knew how much I loved them!
- I sit on my back patio with my daughter in the metal chairs that used to reside in my Grandparent’s back yard. Listening to the wind blow in the trees, just like I used to do at my Grandparent’s house. Life can move so much faster in a big city, so it’s nice to take time to relax and slow down from time to time.