In the span of one year I lost two grandparents suddenly and unexpectedly. For years (up until this point in my life) I had a hard time relating to people in mourning. I had (luckily) never encountered death before, and because of that I did not fully understand the heartache and associated dispair a person goes through. And now I know.
As many of you know, you often never get enough time with the beautiful souls we call family. Our time is often cut short, with many memories missed and opportunity for new adventures cut short. Honestly I have been wanting to post this for a very long time, but emotions are hard. I tend to not be very forthcoming with my feelings so, writing it down is the perfect platform for me. For my grandfather's funeral the grandchildren collectively gathered memories and I put our thoughts to paper. This is what we came up with.
----- Dear Grandpa, Someone once said, the connection shared between a grandparent and a grandchild is like no other. And we couldn't agree more. A Hamilton family get together was never complete without a good laugh, a stiff drink, and a conversation with you. Which is why we’re writing this letter. We want to recall some of those amazing times we shared. Undoubtedly there are many memories we can look back upon to relish on our special bond, and the time we spent together. It's not hard to admit that most of our favorite memories are with you, grandpa. But if we had to limit it to a very small list, this would be the list of our favorite times with you. Our adventures at your house. The carpet covered wall, the staircase covered in ceramic trinkets, the “kids room” that never reached above 35 degrees; Your home was the perfect place to make memories. We can still remember laughing so hard our bellies hurt as we crafted homemade casts from bath towels and duct tape. And we will never forget the many times we ate watermelon on the back porch – with a salt shaker on the side for you, of course. Our adventures at the land. If the land could talk, it would tell a million stories of our time together. From sharing a fresh-from-the-fire corn on the cob with Hershey, to taking a dip in the creek, teaching us how to mow the lawn, or attempting to play horse shoes, our adventures were always fun and full of laughter. Do you remember the target you made so we could practice shooting? How about the line “if you need me, I’ll be in the van,” only to find me snoozin’ with Hershey an hour later? I don’t think we’ve stopped talking about those times since they happened way back when. Our adventures on the road. I pledge allegiance to the underpants, prowling for turkey legs at the Renaissance festival, the light house we visited with the "Do not attempt to swim" sign we blatantly ignored to take a dip and search for shells, and our many trips to Miller’s – the only place with the butterscotch milkshake you love so much. Traveling together was always a hoot. We hold this list close to our hearts, as we will never forget a single car ride, a single hug, or a single adventure we shared. Your voice will remain the one tied to our infamous lines – “no more talkin’ grandpa, no more talkin’ – “I got my eye on you” – or hearing a “hey there, girl” or “hey there, old man” as you answered the phone. There is no doubt that every time we see anything frog related, you will come to mind and a smile will come over us as we remember these times with you. Love ya much, Jeff, Casey, Kirsten, Megan, Jon, & Tangi
I do wish now I did the same for my grandmother's funeral - put my thoughts to paper, that is. But I understand now it's the memories in our minds and in our hearts that we hold most dear.
Thanks for letting me share.