Sunday, July 3, 2011

Missing My Grandpa

Not really sure what brought his on. Maybe it was Dylan bringing home the worm farm from Cub Scouts or maybe it is because of all the talk about BBQ's. Either way, both make me think of my Grandpa. He was not the typical Grandpa who gave hugs, but rather the one who showed his affection by putting me in playful headlock. He taught me how to fish and I remember playing with his big old bucket of earthworms when I was a small child. This would make my Grandma so mad. He taught me how to build the perfect BBQ with charcoal, newspaper, and small pieces of wood ... layers were the key according to Grandpa. Oh how I loved watching him BBQ. He made the best BBQ chicken ever!

Growing up without a father in my life I guess I clung to my Grandpa for the male figure I needed so much as child. Like me and Dylan, my Mom was a single mother who worked full-time and I went to my Grandma's house every day after school. My grandparents meant the world to me. Funny how when I think about, life has come full circle with my parents and Dylan.

When my Mom re-married, I was 10 years old ... but never lost that connection with my Grandpa. His funeral was the hardest thing I have ever had to do and sad to say, I have not been back to visit him often enough. I guess it's just too hard for me.

As I write this, I can feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Being the first grandchild of many, I have always felt a special connection to my grandparents. I so wanted my Grandpa to see his first great-grandson. I am thankful that he was able to attend my wedding and in an odd sort of way, thankful that he was ailing when I went through my divorce. This way, he did not need to see the pain I went through. I remember when I was pregnant thinking if only Grandpa were here.

Sad to say, I have no pictures of me with my Grandpa. I will have to ask my Mom if she has any. If she does, they are probably very old. He was not one for taking pictures, just as he was not one for showing his emotions or saying I Love You. I remember seeing him in the hospital during his final days and I leaned down to give him a kiss. He hugged me and said, "I Love You Michelle." Wow, this coming from the man who only gave playful headlocks with a 'hey you, glad you could make it.'

This is the only picture I could find of my Grandpa. It was taking at my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary in May 1996. My grandfather passed in September 2001.

Friends, take those pictures ... no matter how much others say no or I didn't do my hair. Take those pictures. Because one day, a picture is all that you will have left with your memories of earthworms and BBQ's.

This picture of Grandpa's burial site was taking in 2005, the last time I went to visit. Before that I went one time when I was pregnant to talk to him and introduce my unborn child to him. I think it's time Dylan and I took a trip to see my Grandpa. It's time Dylan starts learning some of things his great-grandpa would have enjoyed teaching him and telling him some of the stories about me and my Grandpa.

Maybe, just maybe the earthworms coming home with Dylan was my Grandpa's way of saying 'hey, glad you could make it' ...

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