Wednesday, January 18, 2006


"Would Grandma and Grandpa like me?" my daughter asked this evening as we were driving home from school.

"Of course they would," I replied, glancing over at her delicate profile in the seat next to me. "They would love you, especially Grandma. She would absolutely adore you and want to spend so much time together; you were the only little girl she ever had. And Grandpa...he would tease you and give you spending money and make you laugh."

My children's paternal grandparents passed away within a few years of each other, both succumbing to the awful disease called cancer. My daughter and son were 6 and 3 at the time........and the memories of their grandparents are beginning to fade.

After we lost Idolia, everything changed. My marriage broke, along with my heart, and our family unraveled into two separate households. My relationship with my father-in-law was never the same, and I mourned that loss long before he died. But when I look back, the memories of the days when the glass was half full far outweigh those when it was half empty.

They loved me, and they loved our children. Idolia was especially enchanted by their sweetness, charm and creativity. I would often look over and catch her watching them, delighting in their antics and with a smile that reached her eyes. Yes, they were loved. And if life had been different, that love would have grown into a complete absorption of the beautiful people they have both become.

My daughter questions their love because she no longer remembers. But I do. And through pictures and stories and reassurances of what-would've-been, I will do my best to make sure that she never forgets.


Networkchic said...

It's sad when our children never have the chance to know the people that are partly responsible for their existence, but at least she has your memories.

alan said...

I don't know how you found me, but thank you! I just scrolled down through your January entries; wow! Beautiful photos, wonderful writing, your gift for letting your heart show through in it...I shall look forward to reading much more here!

It's nice to meet you!


alan said...

I should have added that we lost my Dad to cancer when my boys were 4 and 5, and my wife's Mom the year after. Her Dad had been gone for 4 years at that point. They don't have any real memories of either of them. It used to be a photograph or slide would prompt them, but now that doesn't work anymore.

My Mom was rather "unstable" anyway (funny, now she's in a nursing home and she's actually better!) losing Dad just made things worse, so their only real "grandparent" memories are of my Dad's Mom who lived until 2000 and 97 years old.

I can remember things from when I was 6 (the Cuban Missle Crisis, things from school) but not from 3 and 4; wish there was a way to change all of that for your kids and mine, too!

I should also say that I'm glad you found someone to share your journey with; I think he's awfully lucky!


srp said...

It is true that in the unraveling of a marriage you often not only lose a spouse but the whole family. Sometimes I mourned that loss in closeness that my in-laws and I had. And it could have been so different.

Anonymous said...

I like this post. It reminds me of my relationship with my grandparents and the reasons I moved from Canada to Texas not to loos the memories of their love in my heart.

abcd said...

What a great post, and what a great Mom. Memories are what we all have when our loved ones are gone. Nobody can ever take that away from us.

I can't thank you enough for heeding my plea, and visiting those blogs.


Pete Mitchell said...

What a heart-wrenching question to be asked. I honestly don't know what to say.

martie said...

Lori you are AWESOME!

naive-no-more said...

I have no doubt that you will make sure your children know how much their grandparents loved them. You are an awesome writer and an awesome mom!

McSwain said...

I have a feeling your daughter is so loveable that grandparents would love her, no matter what! My son's paternal grandfather died long before I ever met his father. He often wishes he could make a visit to heaven to meet him.

Rebecca said...

And clearly, you have photos to show it. :)

Grandparents are so important in a child's life. Some of my most favorite memories include my always breaks my heart a little to know my children won't have that in their lives.

But that's okay. I'll just make sure that their children in the future - do.