I'm a 35-year-old Woman Who Misses Her Grandpa

I'm a 35-year-old Woman Who Misses Her Grandpa

Grandparents. Good for spoiling your children and the perfect babysitters. Nobody can do it like Grandma or Grandpa and I have to admit, I had a favorite.

My Polish Grandpa, who passed away 12 years ago this past December, I think was a little sweet on me, too. I remember the last time I spoke to him, he was admitted into to the hospital.

“Don’t come here,” Grandpa said over the phone. “It’s good that you are in school. Study for your tests, that’s more important.”

“Ok, I am sorry you are not feeling well,” I replied.

“Alright, here’s your mother. Goodbye.” He said, handing the phone to my mother.

It sounds a little harsh, but that is how my Grandpa was - no nonsense. Yes, he was a little rough around the edges and often made comments which would make me cringe, but our conversations were always pleasant, even when I was correcting his ignorant opinions about life.

He was the Grandpa who clipped out the articles and boring news releases I wrote for my college newspaper, pasting them into a portfolio. Every week I would bring him new work that he would enthusiastically read and study. I would arrive the following week for a critique, which always a kind comment and a reassuring boost that he believed one day I would be a writer.

My Grandpa died of congestive heart failure the same night I spoke with him and I did not even get to say goodbye. In fact, I do not even remember the last time I told him, “I love you.”

And now, every time I finish a project and am proud of my work, my heart breaks a little because my Grandpa is not here to see me finally follow my dream. I wish he was here to meet my kids and gasp when he met my Italian husband.

I have felt like my Grandpa was with me a few times, which might sound silly to some, but just after my son was born I had a dream he met my little baby, Raymond and told me he was proud of me. When I woke, I was so choked up, I sat on the edge of my bed and was convinced I could smell his cigars and the starch of his neatly pressed button down shirts.

Postpartum hormones? Maybe.

I would like to believe it was Grandpa saying hello and giving me a little reassurance that he knew I loved him. And even though my practical side tells me he is gone, my spiritual side tells me he is (hopefully) an angel watching over me and my kids, enjoying the amusing show.

Who is your favorite Grandparent or acting Grandparent?

What did he/she do to make you feel special and loved?


Leave a comment
  • Ah, my Grandma C is always with me. I always wish she could have met my husband. She would love him and approve of the way he eats his sauerkraut and dumplings. I would like to think she checks up on me, the way you think that your Grandpa does. I could use her advice on some recipes, too! Great article, Liz!

  • In reply to Shari:

    Thanks, Shari. I just wish I would have asked more questions about his life when he was younger, you know?! All my love to Grandma C!

Leave a comment