I’m the oldest child, born to young parents, who also happen to be the oldest of their siblings. The result was (and is) that I have known most of my great-grandparents, and still have my three of my grandparents in my life right now, even as I edge closer to my 40’s. That’s pretty darn awesome in this day and age, as many people are tending to delay becoming parents later in life, and starting a domino effect of children being born and having much older grandparents than in previous generations.
So, with all of this, I have had the gift and blessing to really know my grandparents. My maternal grandmother lives far away, but I still feel very close to her, and can call her up anytime for a gab.
My paternal grandparents live just down the road from me. Not that it happens very much with my busy schedule with kids and life and all that, but I can pop in to see them whenever I want. Just to say hi for a quick 5 minutes, or to linger over lunch and tea, yakking about gardens and canning and cooking and whatever. These moments I wear as pearls around my heart, pearls of warm glowing connections with who I am and where I came from.
Yesterday, some of us gathered to watch my grandmother give a gift to her husband, my grandfather. She was so excited to give him something that represented his worth and measure of how much she loves him. (It was a brand new quad.) Later on, her and I chatted about that, and I listened very close to her words as she described why she wanted him to have something really special. She told me in such simple and clear terms how much she is amazed and consistently honoured to see the kind of man he is. It warmed my heart to hear a wife speak so highly of her husband after over 60 years of marriage. It gave me hope that I could strive to love and care for my own husband in this same way.
My Grandpa can build anything, fix anything, create anything with his hands. He is a genius in the workshop, a giving neighbor who is always there to lend a helping hand. He is kind and funny, warm and sweet. I’ve never heard him say a negative word about anyone. He’s always up for pranks, he can dance a beautiful waltz with his wife in his arms. One time, I went for coffee, and thought I’d ask him to look at my broken vacuum cleaner and maybe he could fix it for me, when and if he had a spare few minutes… I was barely halfway through my cup and he had it back in the trunk of my car, running like new. He could jiggle and jostle any of my babies to sleep on his knee in no time.
He hugs me and call me “My girl”.
As he left yesterday, still surprised and expressing his opinion that he didn’t deserve this sort of gift, I hugged him and told him that “Good things come to good people.” And true to his good and kind ways, he said to me “Well, then, Krissy, you’ve got a lot of good things coming your way too.”
So, knowing how fleeting life is, and how I could never want to live in the shadow of the regret of unsaid words:
I love you Grandpa! And Grandma, I love you too, and am grateful and blessed to witness your love for each other in a world full of trials and tribulations. You both are a shining example to me of what the truth of love and respect is.