Recent events in my family have me thinking a lot lately about the role of grandparents in our lives.
A few weeks ago, my Pappy (my mom's dad) had a mild stroke, which has required him to spend some time in a rehabilitation center near our home. My Oma really shouldn't drive much, and she has been staying with my parents during the week so she can be close to Pappy. Each morning, I pick her up and take her to the rehab center, where she stays until my parents or my sister picks her up in the evening. Circumstances not withstanding, this has actually been something special. I see my grandparents with some frequency, as they live less than an hour away. That said, this is requiring me to make much needed time with them. As a result, E also gets to spend copious amounts of time with his great-grandparents. He loves them, and its a lovely relationship to cultivate.
I don't understand what is like to have living great-grandparents. My family circumstances were such that I was only contemporaries with my Pappy's father, and only for a few months. Oma's parents never left Germany, and my father's grandparents had all passed away. Elliott is very lucky to spend this time with them, and I'm glad they are around to meet him.
My other grandparents, my father's mother and father, did not live long enough to even see me graduate high school. Yesterday would have been my Grandma's 85th birthday, and I could tell it was on my dad's mind. He was very close to his mom, and I was also close to her. We were kindred spirits, with our love of history and geography, really all knowledge. I have since developed a love for crossword puzzles, Jeopardy, and all things Irish. I get down thinking about the fact that Elliott will never know her. Next year will mark 20 years since she passed away. She died during the night after Mother's Day, and considering the wonderful mother she was to my dad and his siblings, it seems right that she should get every last Mother's day she could.
My Grandpa was a good grandparent, always sending birthday cards and celebrating our successes. When he was older, he was sick a lot, and my dad would take him videos of the plays Sarah and I were in, and I know he enjoyed seeing us sing and dance.
I think because of the limited time I was able to spend with my other grandparents, I appreciate my time with Oma and Pappy more. They have seen me get married and have a little boy, who they adore. They have six children, 11 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren (and counting). They celebrated 60 years of marriage in April. The relationship one has with their grandparents is unique. Most 28 year olds that I know can't say they have two living grandparents. I have a wonderful example of love in my life, and I hope one day I can be that example for some one else.