This past week has been just a little difficult for me and even harder for two of my good friends. So many things change and we have absolutely no control over them. One lost her father and the other lost her grandfather. I have been in both of their shoes in my own time and can relate to how both are feeling. Yet there is something strange about how I feel over the loss of the grandfather. Let me explain. My parents were immigrants to this country. They left family and friends behind to make a better life for themselves and their children in this country. That in and of itself is good. But the bad part comes into play when I see that my friends had family around them and I did not. I had no aunts, no uncles, cousins or even close friends near me. The truth is that I do have lots of those relations back in Europe, but I could meet them on the street and not know who they were. My grandparents did not know me at all and I did not know them. One grandfather and one grandmother had died before I was even a sparkle in anyone’s eye. So when all those important times in a person’s life come around, there were very few people to share it with. My sister, my brother, my mother and father, they were it. That was the end of my family. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t go around hanging my head in sorrow over something that was totally out of my control, but with the passing of time, and the changes in my family, I know that I want to be a part of my grandchildrens’ lives! I want to be there for the birthdays, First Communions, First everythings. I want my grandchildren to remember me the way my friend is remembering her grandfather. I know when that time comes and I’m no longer here, it will be difficult for them, but I also know that they will have memories that will give them comfort. That is the reward for living to a certain age. We get to enjoy the craziness that our grandchildren get into. We get to laugh with them, cry with them, hug them and hold them, till we feel ourselves bursting with love. We don’t have to punish, correct, cajole or beg them to do anything. We just need to BE with them. Now is the time to sit back, read books, play games, teach them about ant colonies or bees in the hive. Plant seeds for the garden, play around the pond and just sit back relax and enjoy. Now if the sun just happens to be shining, well that would make it just a perfect day. Why do we do this? Well it’s quite simple. In those times spent with the grandchildren, they learn about family. They learn how to enjoy you and each other’s company without any agendas. Given the chance I would do this as often as possible. Now I’m one of the lucky ones who’s grandchildren don’t live on the other side of the country (thank God), but with the internet it’s still possible to be with them and those web cams, while they never show the best side of me, they still give me a window into their lives. I know I would have loved having the ability to see my grandparents over the miles, but there was no internet then and calling was just too expensive. Taking pictures today is a dream come true. I can remember my son sending a video clip when my granddaughter took her first steps. What a joy that was. For as long as I can, I want to be a part of my children’s and grandchildren’s lives. God willing that should be a while longer yet. For my friend who is missing her grandfather, all I can say is you were lucky to have had him and he was truly blessed to have been a part of your life. God Bless and good night…….
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