The sadness hits deeply when I think about my daughters at their first dance recital looking over into the crowd to see their loving grandparents, but there is always one seat empty—their grandmother.
The privilege to have known and loved all four of my grandparents throughout my childhood into my teen years was a true gift. A gift that my kids will not be able to say they had.
My grandparents were foundational and monumental figures of guidance and protection in my life.
I was 16 when my first grandparent passed. My maternal grandfather. It was sudden and tragic and my first real gut punch in life. It shook our family to the core but yet I still feel so grateful to have known and loved him for 16 years. My children only got two and three years with their paternal grandmother.
I was 22 when my paternal grandfather passed. It was an entirely different experience in that it was a long, arduous battle with cancer. It pained us to watch the suffering but we felt peace in knowing we had time to tell him how much he meant to us.
Here I am, at almost 34 years old, with both of my grandmothers by my side. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about how blessed I am to listen to their stories, eat their delicious food, and enjoy the simpler things in life with them. They love and spoil my daughters and are the proudest great grandma’s.
Grappling with watching the decline of the people you love and respect most puts a pit in your stomach. I worry as their steps get smaller, their body looks more fragile, and their sight becomes a little blurrier. The thought alone deeply saddens me but this is the reality of life. One I do not take for granted.