I Wish My Grandparents Lived to See Me Become an Adult
I want them to know that they played a larger role than I was able to fathom when I was younger
I’m twenty-nine years old and I have no living grandparents.
I’ve never met my grandfather on my Dad’s side — he died long before I was born. My Mom never even met him. My grandmother on my Dad’s side died when I was maybe three or four years old, so I barely remember her.
On my Mom’s side, my grandmother died when I was ten and my grandfather died when I was fifteen.
Out of all of them, the most vivid memories I have are of those of my grandfather on my Mom’s side since he was the person I was able to spend the most time with.
But, even with the time that I did have with him, it still feels like it wasn’t enough.
After my grandmother on my Mom’s side passed away, my grandfather’s health immediately began to decline.
He had emphysema, so when he died pretty much everyone in my family accepted that his death was a result of his condition (along with old age), but deep down I knew that he really died from a broken heart because my grandmother died.
Either way, towards the end of his life, all of my visits to see him took place in the hospital that he was staying in.
When he passed, death was still a hard concept for me to grasp, even as a teenager. I hadn’t been around death much or attended many funerals, so it was an experience I was still trying to figure out.
I don’t even remember crying.
It wasn’t until later in life that it finally hit me.
At twenty-nine years old, I’m experiencing the hard blow of mourning the deaths of my grandparents even after decades of them no longer being alive.
And I think it’s because I’m realizing, in the grand scheme of things, how little time I actually had with them when they were alive.
It hurts looking back at it now that I’m able to see how much I’ve grown since and matured since they passed. I’m realizing just how much they missed over the years, not only with me, but also with my parents, my sister, my parents siblings. Everyone.
It makes me wish they had more time.
I’ve thinking a lot about time lately, especially given the nature of this particularly odd year. I’ve been thinking about all of the people who have come in and out of my life and how the time spent with all of those people widely varies.
Though, despite the length of time spent with all of the people whom I’ve encountered, they’ve all made some sort of impact on me whether it be as small as a pebble or as vast as the ocean.
With my grandparents, it saddens me to never be able to tell them how much of an impact they made on my life because they’re the ones who raised my parents. They raised the people who raised me.
And I wish I could tell them, I wish they could see, just how wonderful of a job they did.
I wish my grandparents lived to see me become an adult because I want them to know that they played a larger role than I was able to fathom when I was younger.
I wish I could tell them that, but I can’t.
What I can do is tell the people that are still with me just how much of an impact they’ve had on my life and how grateful I am for their influence.
Because we never know how much time we’ll have with the people around us. We have to tell them how much they mean to us while we still have the chance.
Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this article, check out “My Family Never Talked to Me About Race”