This may seem like a silly reflection to some, especially since my grandparents have been dead for many years, but over the last month I’ve had some seriously intense moments of missing my grandma. For a little family background…my dad’s mom died before I was born so I never met her, my dad’s dad has been in and out of our family life for various reasons over the years so I don’t have a relationship with him, my mom’s dad died when I was quite young, although I remember visiting him in a number of care homes and the day he died, and my mom’s mom, my grandma, died when I was 13. That left my grandma as the one grandparent I had a lasting, memorable relationship with and still hold those memories dear.
I’m not 100% sure why I’ve been feeling her absence so much, although I know I texted my mom the other day and told her and she said exactly the same thing. Perhaps it’s experiencing some areas of success in my life that I would have loved to share with her, perhaps it’s seeing the special privilege my children have in knowing and building relationship with my parents and James’ parents that remind me I don’t have that opportunity anymore, perhaps it’s the concentrated effort we’ve been putting into sharing our heritage with our children and not having a place to go and ask the questions when the kids start asking where “my people” came from and what it was like, perhaps it’s the reminder when James’ grandparents come to visit and I watch him share those special moments of intimacy that are clearly a result of familial bonds. It could be any one or combination of these things that have given me pause to stop and relive a memory of my years when Grandma was still alive.
Some of the many fond memories I have of her involve food! Funny how those things stick with us, although it does make sense considering they’re tangible evidence of the impact the past has on us. Special family recipes, shared moments revolving around food, etc. We can actually relive some of those memories by recreating the food involved. I think that’s what triggered it for me…a moment of pride as I recreated a recipe my grandma had mastered. It didn’t taste exactly the way she would have made it but the fact that I was able to recreate it to a small degree of similarity was enough to remind me of how it used to be with her.
Then today, I listened to my “Thursday girls” talk about how they each had two grandmas and some great-grandmas and realized how blessed these little ladies were to have so many special women to look up to, to love them and build into them. I had that moment of deep sorrow knowing I missed some great people in my life and then a sense of great joy at the privilege my sons and daughters are experiencing.
Regardless of the reasons that these moments have suddenly appeared in my realm of thinking I believe I will cherish them, be reminded of the wonderful people that I came from, the joy of knowing I will, in fact, see them again one day, and appreciate the fact that I had a moment to enjoy life with some of them present and then encourage my children to soak in every opportunity they have to experience the depth of their own grandparents love and care because someday (hopefully a VERY LONG “someday”) down the road they’ll have a moment of intense desire to share something special with their grandparent and it won’t be possible.