Sunday, April 10, 2011

Birthday Wishes

I just turned 32.

Every year on my birthday my mother has to call me and remind me of how many hours she was in labor with me.  She has to remind me of how much pain she was in on that exact day... however many years ago.  She must also remind me what a pain in the ass I've always been.  It's a really hard phone call to take.  This year on my birthday I made it a point to post on her Facebook wall a very positive message to her, wishing HER a happy birthday and thanking her for being my mother for the last 32 years. 

It didn't matter.  I still got the phone call.

When Gramps was alive he would remind me that he was the first person to hold me after I was born.  My bio dad was dead - only weeks before I was born, so my Gramps was there waiting for me.  When my Gramps told the story about how the nurses laid me in his arms... and how I was the tiniest thing he'd ever seen... his crystal clear baby blue eyes would always get soaked wet with tears.  

I felt his joy.  Each year.  His story of my birth never changed, and the day he came to my home after my first daughter was born (Motherless), and I got to place her in his arms... I cried.  He sang to her and spoke to her in German, like he used to do to me when I was a little girl.

I miss hearing his voice and his laughter.  I miss his blue eyes.  I miss sitting on his lap and having him read to me, even though I can read the words on the pages myself.  I miss his yellow Cadillac and his tapping his hands on the steering wheel along to the sounds of Johnny Cash and June Carter. 

I wonder if my children remember him.  I regret that my youngest daughter has never met him - she was born after he died.  I regret that he has never had a chance to meet S and see how happy she makes me.  I regret that I didn't spend more time with him and tell him these things when I could have.

I wonder if he knew how loved he was.

I wonder if I am supposed to still be grieving after five years?  I think it's been that long... I can't even remember and that makes me feel guilty.

10 comments:

D.Moore said...

Hey, really sweet post about your Gramps. My Gradaddy is gone, but continues to have a huge influence on my life. I am glad you have those great memories of him. Pass the stories on and give your children a sense of history for their lives!

I didn't know you spoke German!

"We got married in a fever, hotter than a pepper sprout..."

L said...

I wish I spoke German! LOL... maybe I will...

No, he did... he always spoke a little German to us and we would giggle and "remind" him that we couldn't understand what he was saying.

Asya said...

Although I didn't know you then, or him, I think he probably knew how loved he was. You love down to your soul and there is no way he wouldn't have been able to feel that. I also believe he sees how happy you are now with S and he is smiling every day, but especially on your birthday.

D.Moore said...

I hope you knew the quote was from the Johnny Cash tune "Jackson." Actually I don't think he wrote that one. Anyway, I didn't pull it out of thin air. I thought maybe you remembered it from when you were riding with Gramps.

L said...

@Asya - thank you, you're a sweetheart and that comment made me get all teary.

@David - yes, I got it and thanks for the memories.

tgallagher41 said...

I miss my granddaddy after 27 years. My younger children did not even meet him. :( He had passed away by the time they were born. He also was such a great man. I really don't think it get's easier. I don't know about you, but it is the unconditional love I miss. I was always felt like I was special to him. It sounds like you were very special to yours :) I hope you get your pictures. He will live forever in your heart.

MakingSpace said...

He knew how much you loved him. Of course he did...

What a sweet memory!

Happy Birthday!

Rexie said...

Belated Happy Birthday to you! What a beautiful story about your Gramps. It is perfectly okay to still feel grief over his passing. It does him honor that you keep his memory alive and speaks of your deep love for him. That kind of love never dies.

Natalie said...

First, happy birthday!!

Second, it sounds like our granddads had much in common - same adoring demeanor and crystal blue eyes. For what it's worth, mine passed away more than ten years ago, and I still grieve at times. I still mourn the fact that he never met my son, who is named after him. I don't give a damn if it's proper or not. And I just lost my grandmother today...painful as it is, I find comfort knowing they are together again at last.

So, you go ahead and miss him like hell, and pass along his wonderful memory to your children. Their lives will be that much richer for it!

The Gardener said...

:-)
great blog. the pain your mom was in, that she went through for you was all worth it, at least for me...

im lucky to know you...