I’m 34-years-old. I’ll be 35 in June. And both sets of my grandparents are still living.
Given my age, when I was growing up, it was often I’d hear about my classmates losing their grandparents to death. It happened as early as elementary school, it happened in middle school and it happened in high school.
So I feel lucky.
Then consider this. For my mom’s parents, I’m one of the oldest of the grandkids, and yet we’re all grown now. We’ve all been out of high school for at least 10 years. For my dad’s parents, I’m one of the youngest. Some of my cousins are approaching 50 (at least I think so).
That’s the setup all for this: We thought we might be losing my dad’s mom this week. Sure, she’s not out of the woods, but she would be the first of the four pillars from my youth that would fall.
I took some time, especially toward the end of last week, to reflect on all of the interactions I had with Gran – the good and the bad. I barely remember going over to visit when I was very small boy their place in Clawson.
I remember the statue in the front with the light. Their dog. Having a battery-powered small Tonka truck and a mountain. I remember embarrassing myself when I received the Night Raven G.I. Joe toy as a kid. I remember my mother allowing her visiting time along with my grandfather because of a disagreement with the person who was my stepmother. And I also know it broke her heart that she couldn’t see me graduate from high school.
I’ll never forget the brown leather-covered Bible, with a golden ribbon marking a key passage of John 3:16, my name inscribed on the cover after I was saved and baptised at Rocky Knoll Baptist Church, way down in Walhalla, S.C.
And I remember our final visit, where my grandmother and grandfather saw my daughter and my grandfather’s namesake for the final time. We spent a good afternoon with them, and with my uncle there, but it was our final time to visit.
Every time, even in the final visits, Gran would want to serve us, even when we tried to take every load off we could.
Maybe, in the coming weeks, I’ll be able to visit one more time with Grand and Grandpa. But all I know is I want to be able to not to hurt either as well.
The mourning thankfully hasn’t started. Hopefully, those photo albums tucked away in storage will be able to be reviewed one more time, allow the memories to wash over me and continue to thank God that not only have I known my grandparents, but my children have as well.
And I’m lucky I’m not one of those classmates I knew those many years ago.