I know I’ve posted about my grandpa at least a couple of times in the past, so if you don’t care to read on, peace out.
It has been well over two years since he passed but I rarely get through a day without thinking of him.
I have been a caregiver for my grandma for just over a year now, and it’s been tough, to say the least. We have extremely similar personalities: we are stubborn, we are sensitive, we are passive aggressive, and we remember everything. We butt heads more often than not, but at the end of the day, I love her so much. I am appreciative for the time I have with her and I’m happy to be making the memories I am. I love her. But….sometimes I can’t help but think, “She’s not Grandpa.”
See, my grandpa and I had a very special connection. He appreciated me and was always very comfortable being vocal about that. He made me feel special and he made me feel so loved (this is the opposite of my grandma and the silent ways in which she shows affirmations). I miss the way my grandpa would smile. I miss the feeling of his smooth hands, like a well-cared for leather. I miss his musty scent. I miss the way his eyes looked behind his glasses. I miss hearing his cane hit the concrete as he walked by my bedroom window every morning. I miss his little words of wisdom (from money-saving tips, to the value of education, etc). I miss his hearty laugh and his care-free attitude. He was known to be temperamental, sure, but he was always sweet as can be with me.
Last week, as I was driving on the 5 towards Los Feliz, a huge wave hit me. I realized that my grandpa and I were always so much closer than my grandma and I have ever been. We could sit in silence and both be smiling. I found myself sobbing in the car, missing every bit of that man so much. Then I felt so guilty. I cried because I felt guilty that the love I have for my grandma and the relationship we have isn’t quite the same.
It’s not bad, by any means, but it’s just not what it could be. Most of it is my fault. I’m not nearly as patient as I should be. I don’t take initiative with her. My private moment in my car reminded me how important it is to care for my grandma now while she’s still here. Maybe it was a sign from my grandpa himself. Maybe he was there with me, gently prodding me to be better with my grandma. He always had that way about him.
I hope he’s with us, proud of me, proud of our family for how we’ve stepped up to the plate to take care of his beloved. I hope he knows how hard we try. I also hope he still visits her in her dreams. She’s in pain every day because she isn’t whole. Their love was real and I just don’t know how she gets on without half her heart. Bless them. Bless him. Bless her.