i was talking to my mom on monday morning when she happened to mention that it was ten years to the day that my grandpa c died.
i was really lucky when i was little because grandma and grandpa c lived only a five minute drive from our house.
i can’t even begin to relate all the good times we had at their place: sleepovers, family dinners and celebrations, pop-overs (ie quick little visits)…we were really close in more than just geographic distance.
i remember spending more time with my grandma c than grandpa. grandpa had many interests: gardening, reading, church committees, and he would be occupied during the day with these routines (and don’t forget his daily afternoon nap!) while i enjoyed baking, playing, chatting with grandma.
in the evenings, grandpa always watched the news, did a crossword puzzle, and during the season, was a loyal maple leafs fan (definitely influenced my choice of favourite nhl team!).
unfortunately, grandma c passed away quite suddenly 24 years ago, next month (i was seventeen). after her death, though, i got to know grandpa c better, and in a new way. grandpa came over to our house pretty regularly for dinner and even hosted us, from time to time. i really admire that grandpa was a lifelong learner – he taught himself to cook after grandma died, and while some of his concoctions caused us to raise an eyebrow, he really managed to make a comfortable home for himself (ex: he went all out with christmas decorating!). what really impressed me was when he decided to buy himself a computer, and even took a course to learn how to use it! grandpa stayed current with the times!
the day grandpa died (at age 89, i was 31) remains sharp in my mind, despite the passage of ten years. we got the call early in the morning from his retirement home that we should come over. mom, dad, my uncle and aunt and i were all in the room with grandpa when he passed away. being present when grandpa died was a landmark moment in my adult life. it was a very emotional occasion – i remember sobbing uncontrollably – but it was also a unifying time – i don’t remember ever feeling closer to my parents, uncle and aunt. it really is remarkable and inexplicable to witness someone’s passage from this world.
please don’t interpret this post as a sad one! death is a part of the circle of life, and grandpa enjoyed a long and full life. i am so happy to have many, many fun and positive memories of times spent with my grandparents, and later, just with grandpa.i feel very blessed that they were such a part of my growing-up years.
[sidenote: grandpa loved going for a country drive, or driving around to do errands. and he never, ever took the same route from point a to point b, back to point a. i do the same thing now! walking or driving, i vary my route on the return trip].
i still think of grandpa c very often – daily?? and i always smile when i see something or get an idea that i know he would approve of. i bet you if he were alive today, he’d be on facebook!
did you live close to your grandparents, growing up? i was really lucky because i also had my other grandparents AND my great-grandma in my life, as a child!
what did you call your grandparents? all of ours were just “grandma” and “grandpa.” no nana’s or poppie’s!
(for wednesday november 16): yesterday i was thankful that vfbf joanne and i managed to fit in a 30 minute visit this week in order to maintain our streak of monthly get-togethers. we really had to work with our schedules and go back to the drawing board a couple of times to make this meet-up happen – but we did it!