I recently spent a weekend home with my grandparents, and as I get older I’m slowly realizing they are too.
Madelene and Doug are high school sweethearts from a small town in Ohio who married as soon as they graduated high school. After working a few years, Madelene went to cosmetology school to become a hair dresser. Doug owned and worked at a local grocery store. After a miscarriage, they had three kids. A girl (my mom) and two boys. They built a house in that same small town and raised their three kids in that house until each one graduated high school and moved onto the next chapter of their life.
Their daughter got pregnant young with a little girl. While fully supported by her parents, she and her husband were taught to fend for themselves. They had two more girls (last one was me!), and Doug and Madelene learned the joy of watching three granddaughters learn and grow. Those granddaughters visited the house they built often, and filled the spaces Doug and Madelene’s children had once held. They went to as many sporting events as weather would allow, and cheered for their granddaughters. They came to every school dance to take pictures with their granddaughters, no longer dressing up in play clothes but in prom gowns. Madelene and Doug watched their granddaughters graduate high school and then college.
Time passed quickly. They can remember meeting each girl as a tiny baby with 10 fingers and 10 toes in the delivery room. Constantly spoiling their granddaughters, every moment together turned into heart felt memories. The hole the girls filled when they were young was suddenly empty again when they started careers and families of their own. Any weekend spent together was a good one, though those came less often. The girls couldn’t always come home for the holidays and Madelene and Doug couldn’t spend nearly as much time with them as they wished.
But they noticed as the girls got older, they did too. They move just a little bit slower, are tired a little quicker. Maybe even reflecting on the family they’ve created – their wishes and hopes for each family member. The realization that they are closer to the later half of their life caused them to enjoy every moment they had with their granddaughters.
These are just my words, but I often think of my grandparents and how I wish I had more time. I cherish every moment spent in my grandma’s sewing room making quilts with her and chatting about everything. My heart warms when my grandpa jumps at any chance to help me out. I always look forward to going home because I fear the day I no longer can.