Grampa & Grandma

14 years ago, when I was 18, my grandmother had passed away. I never truly knew her as there was always large language barrier between my grand-parents and I. She was sweet, kind, had a strong laugh I can still imagine, and knew I liked chocolate.

Shortly after her passing I was moving to Toronto for college, and a mistake in my application meant I missed the deadline for getting into the campus residence. My grampa, who I knew much less than my grandma, was newly a widower and do it made a lot of sense for me to live with him. The language barrier was still there, but it gradually faded.

I remember one of the first things we did together was visit the cemetery where my grandma was laid to rest. As if my grandma was in another room with the door closed, my grampa rapped on the headstone with his cane and told her "their prince" had arrived. 

In the next few months, he would take me to the local pond where we would feed ducks together, we'd go shopping together. On occasion he told me how I helped fill a long-standing hole in his heart left when his son, my uncle, had passed years before I was born. He treated after me like a son - insisting I take an apple to college with me every day. He gave me more apples than I cared to eat. My heavy winter jacket had deep pockets and I became known for always having 2-3 apples in me. He also insisted that I drink "organized" milk (he meant organic.)

One day, while we talking, out of the blue he told me of the words he had read for my grandma when she'd passed. His love for her was so touching, I asked for him to write it down for me to have. I carried it in my wallet until the creases in the paper causes it to practically fall apart. It always broke my heart to read.

Last night my grampa passed away, leaving behind children, grand-children and even great-grandchildren. I am sad about it, but when I reread his letter to her, I know he'd been missing her for a long time - and so, I know they're reunited.


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