Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Your grandpa was awesome! Week #4

Dear Luki,

There’s really no better way to put it other than to say: Death Sucks. A lot. And it’s not just because your grandpa isn’t here anymore, it’s that, in a way, bits and pieces of those who loved him died as well. And even though I know that we will rise to the occasion, that this tragedy will make us stronger, better people, I often wish you could’ve gotten to know us the way we used to be.

I’ve been thinking a lot about this recently. Your grandma’s birthday was a couple of days ago, and it was one of those days when we were all drenched in an overwhelming desire to have your grandpa here, with us. We missed him constantly, but none as much as his wife and partner of 33 years. Her life was so intertwined with his, they were such a tight unit, that she is perplexed about the fact that her birthdays continue to come without him.

I know your grandmother is going to be O.K., but I also know that she will never be the same. She is a different version of the person I grew up with. And, because I love the way she was, sometimes I feel sad that you won’t get to experience that.

But I also know that the years she lived by your grandpa’s side were amazing. I think that the best word to describe their marriage is: exemplary. Everyone wanted to be like them. Personally, I used your grandpa as the standard by which to measure my love interests. When your daddy met him, he was so impacted that he told me he wanted to be just like him when he grew up. Right then, I knew I’d found a keeper.

When I would tell my girlfriends the stories about how your grandma would call her husband in theatrical hysterics because her gas light turned on and he would drop what he was doing to meet her at the nearest petrol station so that she didn't have to pump her own gas, they would joke about hiring her to teach them the tricks to finding and keeping the perfect man.

But your grandma didn’t have to use any tricks. The things your grandpa did – dropping her off at the entrance of every store; getting out of bed to buy her ice cream at midnight; helping her make dinner and then washing the dishes each night – were always done willingly. He adored and admired her, and that was just his way of demonstrating it every day.

So, yes, your grandma will never be the same. But if she can find comfort in something, it’s that she has no regrets from her relationship with your grandpa. And, although she may feel sad, lost, and confused at times, after 33 years of being considered the most important person in his world, she will never feel worthless.

Cherish the person you end up spending your life with Luki. It's the greatest legacy you can leave your family.



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