Monday, June 23, 2008

Grandfathers I Never Knew

My mom died when I was 35, and obviously, I felt a little ripped off. I expected to have my mom in my life for much longer than that.

The other day while I was at lunch with my dad and some friends, it came up that he lost his dad at a very young age. My dad said he can remember being called out of class when he was in junior high school, and being told that his dad had suffered a fatal heart attack. His dad was in his 40s.

As a kid, I just knew that I never had a grandfather. (My mom's dad had also died when she was just a teenager, and he too was in his 40s) I knew that sounded like a really young age to die, and I knew my parents were just kids when they lost their parents.

But it seemed I was taking in this information as an adult for the first time just the other day when my dad talked about it a little at lunch. I can't imagine how my dad must have felt... And how my aunt, who is my dad's big sister, must have felt. And how sad and scary it must have been for my grandmother to be widowed at such a young age. Talk about ripped off!

I didn't ask my dad a lot of questions (yet) because like I said, we were at lunch with some friends. But I will. I realize now that my mom is no longer around, that maybe I've lost some of her history already by not asking her those same questions to her. The very little I've heard about their dad's as a kid barely sticks with me now. It was hard to connect to it back then and I guess I didn't feel a loss over men I never knew. But as an adult, I can now feel empathy for my mom and dad, and their families over that kind of loss. Because now I've had my own experience with loss.

And I want to know about my grandfathers. Because altho I never knew them, I would've really liked to.

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