"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.