My dad’s mother, the grandmother I resemble, passed away shortly before I turned 14, and I have wonderful memories of the time I spent with her. Some of the happiest being with her and all of my cousins and the many Christmas Eve’s putting up her silver tree and her Santa sleigh with the reindeer attached.
My dad’s father passed away before I was born, so I never met him.
My mom’s mother is still alive. We used to talk on the phone every couple of weeks, but her hearing aids put a stop to that. I don’t visit enough in both my opinion and hers, but if I lived closer I would visit once a week taking up where my mother left off.
My mom’s dad was an outgoing, opinionated and staunch democrat. He never met a stranger and would talk to anyone, often engaging them in political discussions much to my embarrassment. Prior to a visit, I would always warn my husband, who is much more conservative, not to start any political discussions.
“He’s the one who starts them,” he’d complain. “What am I supposed to do, ignore him?” I believe they both enjoyed these discussions too much to listen to me.
My grandma and grandpa were present when Charlie was born, with my grandma busting into the delivery room to take pictures. A particular memory that makes me smile.
My grandfather always made a point of hugging me and looking me directly in the eyes and saying, “I am SO proud of you, Kellie,” and I would say back to him, “I know you are Grandpa, ” not fully understanding how much this would later mean to me. He did this at the end of every visit as if that would be the last time he’d see me. He died in 1999, just two years before my mother. They are buried in the same cemetery side-by-side.
I am tired of feeling guilty for caring about my granddaughter. I feel as others think I do not have the right to care about her. I love my own grandparents very much. They are an important part of who I am. In some ways, they did more for me than either of my own parents. This is why it hurts so much to be cut out of my granddaughter’s life. After being blessed with such wonderful grandparents, I just wanted to honor them by being the type of grandparent they were to me.