Should have posted this in 2013 when I wrote it…enjoy…
My grandmother would have been 94 this year. 94. My grandfather would have been 96.
My grandmother passed away in November of 2003, and my grandfather passed away about 6 weeks later. I like to believe that they were like swans and/or lobsters. They mate for life. I’ve missed them every minute of every day since they left. The relationship I had with them was one that ran so deep it’s taken me years to deal with and I can talk about them without bursting into tears.
We named Baby after my grandmother. Not her exact name but a variation on her names to create a beautiful and fitting name. It was a way for me to pay respects to a woman who was stronger than anyone else I know, who survived such traumatic life experiences and still pushed forward to make a life for herself. She was orphaned at the age of 10 and all her relatives refused to take her in, she moved from house to house but staying primarily with her older brother and his wife. She met my grandfather during World War II and married near the end of the war. My grandmother made her way to Canada on a boat, while 8 months pregnant with my mother. I don’t imagine I would have been able to do that. She then took a train to the other side of the country to reunite with my grandfather. They had a simple life, my grandfather built the family home with his two hands. They didn’t have much money but they made do, and made most of their clothing.
I miss them.
At this stage in my life, I think of them so often and wonder what they’d think of me having a child, a husband, or even a house. I wonder if they’d be proud of me, if they’d have moved out this way instead of living on the other side of the country? Would they know how to use the internet? What would they think of Babe? Would my grandmother feel loved that I named my daughter in her honour?
I spoke with my mother this morning, and she let me know that one of her friends parents had passed away this weekend. He was 97 and still had his wits about him. It was unexpected and is terribly sad. It got my mother and I talking, which clearly has led to this post. We don’t speak about my grandparents all too often. It’s hard and hurts too much.
There are moments where I feel like I was short changed. My brother is about 5 years older and I wish I would have had 5 more years with my grandparents. I would give anything to have 30 minutes, 5 minutes, 30 seconds with them just to tell them that I love them and that I miss them.
For Baby, I would love if she had a close relationship with her grandparents. She will definitely be close to my parents as she sees them so often. Babe’s parents on the other hand…I don’t know how to describe it. Babe says that they’re out of their element and just don’t know what to do with the fact that they have a granddaughter. I have a hard time with it. They just don’t seem to be all that interested in her, but when they want to see her there is an expectation that Babe and I should jump.
I don’t jump. And I haven’t jumped since puberty hit and parts started jiggling.
We spent a weekend with Babe’s mother, as she has spent the summer 3 hours away working on her own projects. I’m happy that she’s fulfilling her goals and seeing them through. While we were there we walked along one of the Great Lakes. It was beautiful. She said to me that she was concerned about the bond she’ll have with Baby as my mother will be watching her a few days a week when I return to work, and she didn’t know how much time she’d have to spend with her as she’ll be returning to work.
At times I feel like maybe my expectations are too high and that I need to let go. I need to let go of the need to control. Letting go is well easier than it sounds.