My grandmother died today. She was 92 or 93; I can't remember. I cried, but it wasn't for her.
Christine was in her 90s, either 92 or 93; I can't remember. In fact, I don't know much about her. She wasn't that warm toward me. We didn't cuddle like grandmothers and granddaughters do. She didn't attend my play when I was the lead character in elementary school, my softball or dance championships in junior high, my high school or college graduation, my trip to the women's college world series, my wedding, or my baby shower, nor did she visit when I was in the hospital in intensive care with my son. I have lived in Arizona for 14 years. She never visited me, and for years, she never called. So, as much as I appreciate her contribution to my being, she's a stranger. When I heard about her passing, it was my father who called. He's 60 years old and doesn't handle stress well. Since his father passed in 1985, he has been her rock. Through good times and bad, he was there - for her. He loved his mother more than he loves me; I'm sure of it. He would have, and often did, do anything for her.
I cried when my grandmother died, but it wasn't for her. Besides being told that she's related to me, I don't know anything about the woman. Instead, I cried for my father. He's a recovering alcoholic, located 3-1/2 hours away by plane. I don't know how he will cope. Will he learn to lean in and embrace everything beautiful that is still in his life? Will he take time out to bond with HIS children, the three kids who only have him as the man they can call a father? Will he take time out to learn about his grandchildren? He has five, three boys and two girls. Will he become the man I used to know - the one who was there? Or, will he fade further and further away? I don't know.
When I was younger, I used to worry about my father. I would pray that one day he'd come back to me. I prayed he would one day choose us, but that was a long time ago. I am older now and more mature. I'm also a mother and a wife.
My grandmother's funeral is next week, right in the middle of a major launch for one of my companies.
In a perfect world, I would be there, right next to my dad, my mom, my husband, my son, my sister, my brother, and my aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews, but this is not a perfect world. None of my father's children or grandchildren will be attending Christine's funeral.
I have been told that my grandmother was a beautiful lady - funny, happy and as beautiful as they come in her prime, just like my dad. But I don't know that person, and as of today, I never will.
Today, my prayer is that one day my son will get to know his grandfather - my father, not the man that I call my dad.
You leave behind three grandchildren; one grandson and two granddaughters, five great-grandchildren; two great-granddaughters and three great-grandsons, and one great-great-granddaughter.
One of your great-grandsons is my son. His name is Kayson. Kayson is kind, brilliant, funny, lovable, beautiful and destined for great things - just like me.
Rest in peace, Grandma.
Please keep an eye on my dad.