I am a woman. I am a wife. I am a mother. I am a sister. I am a daughter.
I am also a granddaughter. The oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, actually. Hello, I’m a type A personality, it’s nice to meet you.
When it comes to grandparents, on both sides of my family, it’s a complicated gene pool. Love, hate, divorce, death, marriage, babies given away and found again, bitterness, mental illness, forgiveness.
My head spins every time I think about the cards us grandkids have been dealt over the years.
And it’s spinning again after just losing my grandfather to cancer two days ago.
I could go on and on about how cancer sucks and its not fair and why God why but frankly I’m not feeling any of those emotions. I feel relief. That he suffered a relatively short amount of time in the calendar of a cancer patient. That I am sure he is with his heavenly Father free of pain.
My grandfather was a complicated guy. He was hardworking, proud, loyal, passionate. I guess I could say those are all attributes passed down to me through my father, and that pleases me. But he also had a lot of demons. Made mistakes. Tried to correct them. Hurt a lot of people, and I would imagine, had some regrets. I loved him because he was my father’s father. But I do not pretend to understand him, or the inner-workings of his mind. A great communicator he was not. However I have no doubt that in his own, unique way, he loved his whole family.
I suck at funerals. I never know what to say. All I know is how to be myself, which I’m afraid may upset someone or offend others. So I just grin and bear it. Quite literally, because humor is the only way I know how to get through it. Hence the “offending others” part of this statement.
So I prefer to remember how he liked a bowl of cherry ice cream every night after dinner. And how he’d let the dog lick the bowl afterwards. They were wooden bowls. They didn’t have a dishwasher when I was a kid. I couldn’t tell you how hot their water got, I can’t remember. Hopefully hot enough.
Who am I? I am a granddaughter. I don’t know if I was, or am any good at it. The meter’s been broken for years. But these people I call grandparents are the reason I exist. DNA tells me so. So I will try my best to love them, preserve what’s worth remembering, and forgive the hurt.