Today started out as a Saturday like any other Saturday. My husband and I were up early and decided to surprise our daughters with a morning treat of donuts from our favorite real donut shop. As we were leaving, an older man started to place his order and to hear him speak was like hearing the voice of my grandfather. His voice was that of the old, tough, former New Yorker my grandfather had been. He only said a few words but his voice took me right back to the days when my grandfather was still alive. He’s been gone for almost 15 years now and I had forgotten what his voice sounded like. I was surprised at how memories of my grandfather overwhelmed me with just the sound of this man’s voice. A warm feeling settled over my heart and I felt like I had been given a special gift. It made me smile but then the tears began to flow.
Feelings of great love and then even greater loss touched my soul. My grandfather was an amazing person, he had the mind of a genius, the heart of an inventor and the soul of a poet. He was strong, brave and religious. He loved his family with all his heart and did his very best to be a shining example of what a good man should be. We were all scared of him but we also loved him with all our heart. He was only in his 70s when he died leaving my grandmother behind to carry on without him. I feel thankful everyday to be born into my amazing family. I just wish I’d had more time with him before he died.
When you’re young, you don’t understand the gift of having grandparents to share their life stories with you. You hear them but you don’t really comprehend how important having those memories of special times with them are. I try to visit with my grandmother as often as possible when I’m visiting my hometown. Seeing her there in the house where so many of my best memories of childhood and adolescence were brings me back to the days when my grandfather was still alive. She tells me her stories and I listen with relish. She is my only real link to my family’s incredible history now. Each time I’m with her, I feel my grandfather’s presence, her grace and see her tremendous beauty. It makes me feel safe and secure once more. Grandparents are such a vital part in the stories of our lives. It’s important that we treat them with all the love and respect that they deserve. Their wisdom is key to how we make our own way through this sometimes troublesome world we live in.