I’m envious. I never knew a grandparent. Not one of the four possibilities!
My mother’s mother died during her birth.
My mother’s father couldn’t handle it and farmed her out to relatives. He lived until I was in my mid-teens, but I heard not a word about him until he died and left mother enough money to buy a Plymouth.
My father’s father was ostracized because of some extracurricular activity and I never heard anything about him. I’m not sure where I learned the salacious information.
My father’s mother is a complete mystery to me. I can’t recall a single word ever mentioned about her.
There are others that might have filled the void. Great Aunt Annie, for example, who lived in Worcester, Massachusetts in her small home with a refrigerator cooled by a daily delivered block of ice. But we made the 200 mile visit only once a year and a relationship never developed.
There was Great Uncle Arthur, from whom dad’s middle name came, who ran a Boston restaurant where my father bussed. But by the time I met him and wife Alice, in my teens, they were incapacitated and near death’s door. I don’t know why it took so long to be in their presence because I don’t believe there was any animosity.
So what did I know about grandparenting when I became a grandfather to a wonderful baby girl, my only grandchild? Not much.
We were separated by distance for most of her childhood, so I saw her sporadically. It has been easy to love her. She was adorable as a child, clearly intelligent, and fun loving. Now a young adult, she is beautiful, amazing, and still fun loving. When we are together we have a wonderful time.
But neither of us is good at maintaining communication over the thousands of miles that still separate us. Far different from many of my friends who dote on their grandchildren.
I think I’ve missed out on a type of relationship that seems to be truly special to so many. From both ends. As a child and as an older adult.
It gladdens my heart when I hear talk by others of their grandchildren and the activities they share. And by younger people of their grandparents and the activities they share.
Yes, I am happy for their pleasure.