Two Years

When I was in kindergarten, my grandpa would pick me up from school every Wednesday to spend the afternoon with me. He would take me miniature golfing, or sometimes to go on the trampolines. He’d take me out to lunch, usually to get a hamburger. I remember those days– I remember how happy I felt to be with him. I remember how much fun I had riding around town with him.
I remember how special he made me feel.
My grandpa was extremely proud of me. He thought I was the most beautiful, talented little girl and he made sure that everyone in his life knew how wonderful he thought I was.
When I lost my grandpa, I lost the one person who truly loved me for who I was, unconditionally, no matter how badly I had behaved or failed him. He never got angry with me or said unkind words to me. He was protective of me, he was proud of me, he genuinely loved to spend time with me.
His departure from this world has left a deep void in my soul.
There’s a story I love to tell my kids about my Grandpa that I want to share with you.
It was a cold, rainy day. I was on restriction– for what? I can’t remember. All of the neighborhood kids were outside playing in the rain in our driveway. I was sitting by the window, looking outside at everyone having a good time. I was upset that I was missing out on the fun. As I was watching and dying a little on the inside, I saw my grandpa’s car pull up.
I made my face just a little bit sadder as he walked up the driveway, knowing he’d see me and wonder why I was sad.
When he walked in the door, he immediately asked me why I was sitting inside instead of playing with the kids outside.
“I’m on restriction!” I whined, tears welling up in my eyes. “I’m not allowed to go outside.”
My grandpa looked at me and said “Oh, fer crying out loud. Get out there and play!”
I was tempted, but there was no way I was going to disobey my parents. I would get SO BUSTED the minute my grandpa left if I tried that.
He could see the fear in my eyes.
“Just go! Don’t worry about your parents, I’ll take care of them!”
That was all the reassurance I needed.
I wiped the tears from my eyes, skipped outside and joined the kids.
As a parent, this story makes me cringe a little. I would be angry if my parents undermined my parental authority in that manner.
But the child in me looks back on that and remembers a man who just wanted me to be happy. A man who was willing to stand up, speak up for me.
He continued to be that person for me when I needed him most– my teenage years.
When my parents got caught up on a cult-like, legalistic view of Christianity, my grandpa (and grandma) tried to speak up on my behalf– even covering for me when I wanted to go on dates with my future husband. (No, I was not allowed to be alone with MY FUTURE HUSBAND. But that’s another story for another day.)
I don’t know if I would have survived those years without having him (and my grandma) in my corner.
Two years later, I still think about him every day. Some days, I feel guilty. Guilty that I didn’t spend enough time with him. Other days, I’ll feel pure joy when I think back to something he said, or look at a picture of him with my children.
The sadness and ache I felt in my soul when he passed has slowly been replaced with the warmth and the love he left behind in his words- both written and spoken.
I’m grateful for the love he left behind that I can and will carry with me always.
.Me and Grandpa.
I miss him already

9 thoughts on “Two Years

  1. Maria

    Aw Y. This is beautiful.
    Grandparents are such a special thing. I’m grateful every day that my kids have their grandparents around to undermine my authority and spoil them like crazy.
    Love you, love this.

  2. sarah

    i’ve been a long time reader, and not a very frequent commenter. but i had to give my two cents on this.
    i just lost my grandmother two weeks ago. her service is tomorrow. it was nice to read an opinion from someone who’s been there. it’s comforting to know that in two years, the loss won’t have lessened. you made me cry, girl, but they were good tears. thank you for the internet hug via blog entry.

  3. Jessica

    This blog entry totally hit my heart… I have been trying for weeks to help my 5 year old acclimate to kindergarten and before/after school care which has her at school for 10 hours a day. I have been roundly criticized by some folks in my immediate circle for responding to her with just plain love. They think I should be disciplining her when she erupts with anger and frustration after a long hard day. But I want to model your grandfather’s heart and perspective and this story makes me feel strong in my decision. Thank you!

  4. Karen Sugarpants

    Your relationship with your Grampa sounds so much like the one I have with my Papa. I’m so sorry he is in Heaven, but I am so glad for you that you have so many memories of him in your heart. Big hugs, Y.

  5. Wacky Mommy

    “Oh, fer crying out loud. Get out there and play!”
    i’m thinking he meant for the rest of your life 🙂 play is good. work hard and play hard and love hard, too. it made me miss my grandparents reading this, awwwwwwww dang it. but they’re still here, inside my heart. and my DNA. haha.

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