I Never Talk To My Grandparents Enough

To The Grandparents I Never Talk To Enough, I'm Sorry I Take You For Granted

You may not all be pictured but the degree of thanks I have for you doesn't lessen.

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To the grandparents I never talk to enough, I take you for granted.

For that, I am sorry.

Lately, I've been opened to the fact that a lot of people have lost their grandparents. Obviously this isn't new news to me, however, I've never thought much about my life and how I have three sets of grandparents still in my life.

I am so lucky.

And I take that for granted.

I think in ways I've struggled with my relationship with them; with you Grammy and John, and Grampy and Becky, and Grandma and Papa.

My family and I live 1300 miles away from some of my grandparents and 2600 miles away from the others.

I've always held the excuse of they're too far or I'm too busy to call them my reasoning for lack of communication. And I hate that. I have time. I'm just not using it the right way.

I just need to take a moment to apologize.

To my grandparents, I'm sorry. I'm sorry you're always there for me, you're always trying to stay updated about my life, you're always willing to do things for me, and I'm not appreciative of any of it.

I'd like to consider myself a good person in many ways. But in all that good I lack a sense of appreciation. I always say how I'm jealous of families that spend Thanksgiving with their extended families and I can say I am lucky that I still do that, after a plane ride and car drive away.

But I feel unlucky in the sense of I only see some of my grandparents once a year. And others every few years.

Sometimes I think about me getting older and the milestones I've accomplished and how they're not always there for me. Then I have to remind myself that they're getting older too, and I'm not there to be with them.

It's a circle of sadness for myself!

I have to remind myself that at least I'm lucky that they are still in my life, even if they aren't always there.

I'm lucky that they're still a phone call away, a house to call home, a family member to hug. I'm lucky, so lucky that I haven't gone through a significant loss in my life. I don't think I realize how lucky I am to not have that. And still, I find it in me to worry about myself and what I'll be feeling when that time comes. Does that make me selfish?

To the grandparents that have always been there, I'm sorry I haven't given you the recognition you deserve. I just need you to always know that your love and guidance for me has never gone unwarranted.

To the grandparents I don't tell enough, I love you so much. And I'm lucky you're still in my life and interested in all my hopes and dreams. There aren't enough "thank you's" in the world to go around for what you've done for me.

I can only hope that someday when I have a family of my own, and a house of my own, and kids of my own, that your stories and your faces will continue to carry on.

To the grandparents I never talk to enough, I take you for granted.

But your love, gratitude, and gift of kindness to me is never one that is.

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When You Give A Girl A Papa

She'll learn enough lessons to last a lifetime.
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When you give a girl a Papa she'll have the best adventures.

She'll run around atop his shoulders and learn to fly. Her imagination will never run dry and she'll always be down for a laugh. He'll tell her stories and wipe away her tears. When you give a girl a Papa she'll have memories to last her years.

Papa is German for Dad but in America, it has become a slang term for grandpa. And while it is just a word, for some, it has a deeper meaning. Papa isn't just a grandfather, he's a best friend, the instigator of mischief, a protector, a storyteller, a rock, the strongest man you know and, most importantly, a hero.

Papa can turn ordinary, everyday activities into an adventure. From a young age, I was running behind him as quickly as my little legs could carry me ready for that day's adventure. I was always down for anything Papa was doing, following him in his daily chores and mimicking his every move. Cuddling up and watching sports in his lazy chair was my favorite time of the day because he always told the best stories. Sitting there hanging onto every word he said because it was the most important thing I ever heard.

Papa is full of experience and wisdom. His wise words provide comfort every time I am sad. He can always make me laugh to fight the tears away. I'm not sure how, but he always knows what to say to make me feel better. Papa is a fearless force that never bows and is never broken. He can weather all of the storms while smiling and laughing. I can only hope to have that resilience when facing life's problems. And when Papa was struggling with his own battles, I will stand right next to him, ready to fight and do all I can for him.

Papa can do a happy dance via the phone so he is the person to call when something good happens. He is always there to celebrate life and all its joy. And, even though he tried to hide them, he cried happy tears the day of my high school graduation. I pretended not to notice.

Leaving Nana and Papa's house is always the worst part of the trip. Driving away waving my hand in the air with tears welling in my eyes because I can't wait for the next adventure. Disappointing Papa was the scariest thing you I could think of, but I knew that he would never stay that way for long. There was always a lesson to learn from mistakes.

He is the man I model all men after. If they don't treat me the way Papa demonstrated, they are not worthy of my time. If they don't make me laugh or have that twinkle of passion in their eyes and fire in their soul like my Papa, then they aren't the man for me.

Papa is my hero. I would give anything to be like him, to stand strong and hold the world together when it just wants to fall apart. To be able to make anyone laugh and feel right at home. To fight for what I believe in and work hard to achieve my goals. To have charisma and charm. To deal with people who wrong me with class and kindness. To follow my faith with questions because that is the only way to make your beliefs stronger. To be the person everyone speaks of with a fond memory in their eye.

At the end of it all, he is my Papa and no one can take his place. I can and will drop anything to be by his side. He has shaped me into the person that I am working to be. I will always call him for advice and kind words.

Best friends come in many forms, but my favorite will always be my Papa.

Cover Image Credit: Jessica Goddard

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The Lines Beside My Grandma's Eyes

Wrinkles are our body's diary of the adventures we have had.

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The photo book opens. Happy memories gush out, overflowing onto the table, they catch my eye and touch my heart. I know very well, the woman that smiles back at me from page five. I knew her when she stood five feet 6 inches tall beside me, not four by five inches as she is now, preserved in this album of captured love. Yes, I knew her when her curves were 3D, when her sound, her scent, her smile were a reality before me.

A beauty through and through, from ages zero till 92. She blessed the earth she walked on -blades of grass bowed down before she even took a step on them. The wind blew to embrace her. To describe her as beautiful would not be enough. I'm convinced her heart was so full of loveliness that it overflowed onto her surface. Even within these pages, she still catches many eyes.

Mine are drawn to her lines. My grandma's face spelled love in the lines that she etched there. Between her eyebrows, she held her worries, above them sat her sass. Around her mouth, she forged ridges from a lifetime of laughter and millions of kisses. But the lines that I'm most interested in are those beside her eyes. There, her soul took up the pencil.

These lines are tender, like the gaze with which her honey eyes held the world. They are riverbeds for tears of joy. They are the tails of shooting stars, evidence of her eyes' twinkle, her omnipresent obstinance to dream. They trace the strong cheekbones where my sleepy head used to plant a goodnight kiss and whisper, "I love you more." They zig-zag like her heartbeat, electrified whenever she caught a wink from her Don. They are the illustration of 92 years of wisdom.

I see my whole childhood, my hopes for who I'll someday be, and my strong family ties in those lines beside her eyes.

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