Eight years ago today, my grandpa passed away. I never planned to write about this post but last night it hit me how much of an effect he had on my life even though he only got to be here for a small part of it.
When I was in fourth grade, he had a stroke and from then until my third day of ninth grade, he stayed in a nursing home because the stroke paralyzed his left side. A majority of my memories of my Grandpa are from those years. Going to church with him on Sundays, talking about my middle school choir concerts, playing wii bowling when we had a wheel chair accessible van so he could come home on holidays.
A lot of my happy memories are from before then too.
Like when I would go to my grandparent’s house every Saturday and my grandma and I would eat mac and cheese for lunch and my grandpa would eat ritz crackers with peanut butter and jelly. Every Saturday.
I also remember always making piles of leaves in the fall and jumping in them.
I remember always playing with his college ring from the University of Oklahoma, thinking I couldn’t wait until I was old and could have a giant ring with a huge red stone too.
I remember he always had a comb in his pocket, a hankie too, but his hair would never be out of place.
The one time I took a trip with my grandparents, mom, and dad was a year before he had his stroke, we went to Disney world.
My mom and I hated roller coasters but my grandparents and dad were all about them. I’m never going to forget watching my grandpa getting off space mountain, immediately pulling out his comb and fixing his hair.
Obviously there are things I wish he could’ve seen me do, dance concerts in high school, graduation, reading my stories published in the newspaper.
There are times when it makes me angry that I feel like I didn’t get to talk about a passion we both share but something about looking through all his slides yesterday was comforting. Like I was still able to connect with him.
That was really when it hit me, the connection I’ll always have with my grandpa, the one we never got to talk about but one that we share. I realized my love of photography definitely came from him. He took his camera with him everywhere and snapped pictures of everything.
Looking through photos have always been a sentimental thing to me, cheesy as it may seem, photos are really seeing something how someone else sees them. And I like that I can see things through how he saw them and understand them even if he isn’t here to talk about them with me.
I’m happy I’ll always have a daily reminder of my grandpa and a passion we share.