For as long as I have been alive, 22 years, you really weren't present. To begin with, you weren't really present in my father's life either. And I feel bad for you because you have been/are missing out on a great family dynamic. So what if you never approved of my father marrying my mother, she still is family. Honestly, I think you were threatened by how strong and independent my mother is. You saw that she wanted better for my dad, that she treated him with care and loved him; by refusing to acknowledge her you figured she would go away. Well, my parent's love is too strong for you to understand then.
You were well aware and present when my mother's parents had died at a young age. With her father dying a year before she got married and her mother dying a year before I was born. Even though you weren't around we have had grandparent figures in our life (shout out to Zizi, Aunt Toni and Mr. Jim). You never bothered to create a bond with, my older brother, D.J. and I when we were younger and you had gotten annoyed whenever we spoke of Zia, Aunt Toni or Mr. Jim. The thing is, these three magnificent people mentioned (RIP) above had cared about us, were there when we took milestones and supported my entire family.
D.J. and I were raised by two fantastic parents that taught us important values and lessons without your help. Yes, you babysat us once, but all you wanted to do was buy our affection; and in someway, it worked with my brother. However, being only twelve years old, I saw right through this. And it wasn't that I was ungrateful for you wanting to purchase us anything in the mall. I know you may see it that way, but all we really wanted was your time: for you to listen to us and ask us about our day, for you to attend special events, for you to just care.
Even when we went out to breakfasts, you didn't believe children were important until they turned 16 and that was just pertaining to males. Being a female, I had no sense in talking. So that's exactly what I did, I stopped talking because why waste my breath? Not only did you not care, but you were ignorant towards us, in general. You commented on our appearance, on our weight, on our hobbies and interests. No matter what we'd say you always disagreed and would literally call us "stupid."
I've seen so many of my friends and cousins have grandparents that have attended special events and just go over their houses to spend time with them. And it upsets me when these friends complain about the care their grandparents show them. They say, "Ugh, my grandparents call me too much." Or "Why do we have to see them all the time?!" "Do they have to come to my birthday party?" and finally "I don't want them around my friends." My friends don't realize how lucky they are to have invested grandparents, and I understand some things in life are taken for granted. And the grass seems to be always greener on the other side.
But are you aware that I cried when you said you weren't coming to my high school graduation? And I quote you, "it's too late for me to be out!" Do you know how badly my brother and I wished that you called just to hear about the day we've had? How we wished you actually listened to what we enjoyed doing? Or how we wanted you to be present for our bowling championships, when we received 1st place trophies? No. You aren't aware because you rarely thought about us and you believe you've put the best effort in as a grandmother.
And then grandpa died, in 2007, and he had been your whole life. You two traveled the United States together. You guys "had your own lives" and did what you wanted to do, which is fine. At the time, of his death, I was only thirteen years old and felt more upset for my father than you. My father is the only reason I keep the peace between you because I care about him that much! Because when you care for someone you sacrifice "what you want to do" for them. And it's upsetting that he never gained acceptance from grandpa or even you. But, I will tell you my dad is 300x a better dad and husband than grandpa could even dream about becoming. Yes, dad worked a lot being on the force, but he made time for my mother, brother and I. He volunteered to coach the basketball team, he joined the lunch monitor committee, he sometimes let us stay up late just so we could watch a TV show or movie with him. He was and still is an awesome dad.
Once I began college, then you wanted to become apart of our lives. You wanted us to call every week, keep you updated on our lives, wanted us to visit and to stay connected. But here's the thing, we have "our lives" now and we have learned to live most of it without you. We have endured struggles, we have celebrated success, we have cried and yelled all without you. We have experience life without you because your actions showed us that you didn't want to experience life with us. Now that we are grown-up, we truly don't need a you. We needed you when I was sick, having seizures every week. We needed you when my brother, at ten years old, tore his ACL. We needed you when my mother would be, singularly, taking care of us because my father would be on weird schedules for work. That's when we needed and wanted you.
I'm sorry if this is offensive and I'm sorry that you want to create a bond with us at the ages of 22 & 26 and, now, we just don't have the time to. We are traveling the world, we are experiencing what life is like and making mistakes and learning from them. We're not waiting until we're in our 50's because by then we hope to enjoy life with our families. I mean, even when D.J. and I were graduating college, you still hadn't attended. You want all the accolades of being a grandmother without actually being a grandma. I'm sorry grandma but, ya know what? You missed out and you can never get that time back.