Okay, so I’ve fallen behind on the You Are Enough 30 Day Blogging Challenge. So, now I’m going to take my best shot at catching up on the last three days. I thought about combining all posts into one, like I have before, but it doesn’t seem like all of these topics particularly flow well together. However, I will post days 19 and 20 here, since I can discuss more on one topic than the other. Here it goes…
Day 19: In Chapter Fourteen, I get “An Unexpected Apology.” Share a time when YOU got an unexpected apology from someone, and how it impacted your life.
To be quite honest, I can’t exactly think of a time when I got an unexpected apology from anyone. In my past, most of the times when people have apologized to me, it was none the less expected. I’ve lost good friendships and relationships over the years, and not all of them ended particularly well. Some weren’t so bad. They just ran their course, and we grew apart. Over the years, I’ve looked back on those times in my life, and I realize that I might’ve been too harsh in certain situations. Like I said, I used to spend a lot of time being angry at people and situations, to the point where I often placed blame on others, as opposed to taking some responsibility myself. So, if anything, I probably owe certain people in my past an apology for hurtful things that I might’ve said or done. With that being said, if any of you are out there reading this, just know that I’m sorry for making you feel like less than you really are. And just know that I’ve forgiven you and have realized the error of my ways.
Now, onto Day Twenty…
Day 20: In Chapter Fifteen, I talk about losing someone precious to me, my grandmother. Talk about someone you’ve loved and lost, either to death or circumstance…and how loving them made you a better person.
I’ve been pretty open about the loss of my grandparents in my life, and I already talked about how difficult it was losing my grandmother at eighteen. However, there’s another loss in my life that I don’t remember as vividly, but I feel the effects of its grief every single day of my life. I have for the past 24 years.
And that’s the death of my mother’s dad: my Pops.
I only had four short years with him, but I was his first granddaughter. From what I’ve been told, the bond we shared was different than it was with all of my older, male cousins. Simple things like holding my hand on walks outside when my parents and I would go visit him at the nursing home or him being insistent upon feeding me during our annual beach trips to Destin. I have this one vivid memory of going see him at the nursing home. He always had these yummy chocolates next to his bed, even though he knew better than to eat them or to give them to me. I remember him specifically waiting until my mom walked out of the room to sneak me one, in typical grandfather fashion. We both laughed. It was our own little secret. I guess he spoiled me a little bit more than my mother wanted him to, but isn’t that how grandparents usually work? Now, we typically have those chocolates every Christmas in his honor.
The next memory I have of him is his funeral. I remember being in the church my mom grew up in. It was Pops’ church, too. I remember kneeling next to her in the pew, watching her cry, and her telling me “okay, it’s time to go see Pops now.” Then, we walked up to the casket, knelt down beside him, said our prayers, cried, and walked away. That’s it. That’s all I remember. I was four, but I somehow understood that that meant I wouldn’t be able to see my Pops anymore. What I didn’t know then was the magnitude of grief I would feel for years to come. The jealousy that would sneak into my heart when my friends would talk about going to lunch with their grandparents. Or go shopping with them. Having them around for birthdays, dance recitals, holidays, and graduations. The feelings of being left out when I had no one to come to Grandparents’ Day at school growing up. Eventually, they changed the name to GrandFriends’ Day, so it was welcoming for those students who no longer had their grandparents in their lives. My aunt and uncle often came to this event for my sister and I, since they are the closest thing we’ve ever really had to grandparents. But still, it never fully was the same.
Our time on Earth is sacred, and tomorrow is never promised for any of us. Grief doesn’t know a thing about timelines. It never fully goes away. It doesn’t exactly get easier. We just learn to live each day as best we can, and we hope we’re living it in such a way that makes our lost loved ones proud. Not having my grandparents in my life has made me envious of those fortunate to have theirs in their life, but it’s also taught me just how precious life is. How important it is to cherish our time with the ones we love most. Honestly, the loss of my grandparents has become a driving force in bettering my relationship with my own parents. They both lost their parents at fairly young ages, in their early to mid-twenties, to be exact, and I cannot even begin to fathom what that must feel like for them. So, I do my best to be a good daughter to them. I strive to make them proud. And every day, I hope and pray that my grandparents are looking down from Heaven with that same sense of pride. It makes the grief a little bit easier to deal with. Knowing that I’m living my life for them.