When I hear friends complain about having to spend time with their grandparents it thoroughly upsets me because I know what a loss it is when finally you have them no more. They don?t seem to realize how special they are or the significant impact they will have on their future. My realization of this came all too late when the last surviving of my grandparents passed almost three years ago.
As a child I was unbelievably close to the three living grandparents I was blessed with. I lived next door to my father?s parents from birth. My grandfather was a tall, full-bodied man with thick gray hair, a thin Clark Gable style mustache, and crystal blue eyes, which I inherited. As a deacon of the Catholic Church for almost 18 years, he taught me about god, patients, and most importantly about love and respect for others. He made the largest impact on my life. My grandmother, a small, strong-minded, witty, gray haired woman, taught me how to be a refined lady. She pushed manners on me so that if one day I had the chance, I would be suitable for tea with the queen. The one saying of hers which stands out the most for me was ?you?ll never have tea with the queen with manners like that?. She taught me how to properly set the dinner table. Also, that I should be overly appreciative for all of the provisions my parents sought for me because there was a million other children my age who weren?t nearly as lucky as I. Most importantly they taught me what a true loving relationship was all about. They would have been married for fifty-five glorious years if it hadn?t been for my grandmother?s death.
American Indian with white hair and almost orange skin. His wrinkled skin and steel blue eyes told the story of a child who worked the fields to support his family and also the story of an Iron worker who provided for his family. He was the grandfather who, when needed, would put my parents in their place. He?d tell them that I would only be a child once and that I could have whatever I fathomed. The hot and humid summers of my childhood were usually spent lounging around his house hearing of summers past and running rampant. I was only age twelve when he passed away, and never really got to know him for who he was. I vastly remember the stories he would tell about growing up working the fields for family support. As far as his real history I know nothing of it. Who was he? What was the majority of his childhood like? Did he go to school? Where had he traveled? These things I will never know. They are lost in the ghost of his existence.
I wish I had my grandparents with me now. There is so much I am yearning to know, but never will. Every time my friends invite me to a gathering with their grandparents I gladly accept. I could ramble for days about all of the qualities gained from their life and the possibilities lost with their passing. There is much I took for granted and I now know how important they were to me. I cannot expect for my peers to understand where I am coming from but hope that before their elders go on to an everlasting life they realize what they have.