The above is an obvious statement, I know. But it is true, and feels especially true for me recently. Looking back at 2018, there were some pretty crappy things that happened in my life. My cat died, my grandma died, and my grandpa died. It probably seems silly to put the cat thing in there with the other tragic events, but Mojo was with me for a long time, over 15 years, and I miss him. Even though the older he got and the more children I had, he became such a pain in the butt and so gross, he never failed to snuggle me each night, and I miss that certainty, that comfort.
My grandma, my mom’s mom, was 88 years old. She was amazing. She held onto her faith so firmly, yet would be able to have in depth conversations about things that she did not necessarily agree with. She was the most incredible cook. She was very creative and enjoyed writing. She wrote a children’s book that was never published, illustrated by her younger brother, about a star in the universe trying to find its place. I have some of that story tattooed on my arm.
My grandpa, my dad’s dad, was 89 years old. He was a captain with The Great Lakes Fleet for 43 years. He had a wicked sense of humor and was very opinionated and had no problem sharing his opinions to anyone who would listen. He had an endless amount of stories to tell. I loved just listening to him talk even if I had already heard that particular story several times. He loved to listen to polka music on Sundays, and every time I hear polka music I feel right at home.
I have no more living grandparents left to visit or to call or to send pictures my kids drew for them. This fact is still new, so sometimes I forget. The other day I was thinking about something the boys and I could do for spring break, and one of the options that popped in my head was heading up north to stay at our family’s camp and visit my grandparents like we did last year. But they won’t be there to visit this year. Each August we try to get up there during The Nautical Festival. My grandpa’s house is the epicenter for all family gatherings. At some point during the Festival we all find our way there to eat, drink, catch up, and laugh. So much laughter. But now, where are we going to meet up? Will our annual August pilgrimage up North even continue? I won’t be greeted by that familiar smell of my grandparents’ homes. I won’t be able to find the not so secret stash of candy my grandpa always had on hand. I won’t be able tell my grandma we already ate as she puts together a meat, cheese, and cracker spread seconds after we have arrived for a visit. Little things I’ve gotten so used to over the years will be coming to an end. I have no fancy words for what it is. Change is so hard to deal with sometimes.
That gorgeous picture at the top of my blog? That is the beach we go to. Just beautiful and relaxing up there. And the memories. I have to give my kids their own memories of being up there as well, so we will keep travelling to that special little town despite all of the change that 2018 brought.