Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekend Mishmash: Gratitude for Grandparents

As usual, I find myself stretched a bit too thin to post here on a regular basis, and as I've expressed before, I really miss the time I used to spend surfing the blogosphere. But, despite my myriad duties and projects as of late, I know I'd be remiss if I allowed Thanksgiving week to pass me by without expressing my heartfelt gratitude for my friends and loved ones, including my blogging pals.

Lately, though, I've felt most grateful for my four grandparents – all of whom were a huge part of my life, especially during my childhood. Although they're never far from my mind, they've been even more present in my thoughts this year. Perhaps that's because I lost the last two – my paternal grandfather and my maternal grandmother – within the last six months. My grandpa (pictured here with my dad and stepmom), whom I called Paw-Paw Al as a child, passed away in mid-June, just a few days before Father's Day, while my grandma, otherwise known as Maw-Maw Deanne, died less than two weeks ago, just 10 days following her 88th birthday.

While I love and miss each of them greatly, losing Deanne (pictured here with me and my mom) was perhaps the hardest blow – and not just because she was the last to go. She was also, if truth be told, my favorite. Her house – which was lost in Hurricane Katrina – always felt like home to me. While growing up, I spent countless hours with her, reading books, watching our favorite shows, eating our favorite treats, singing our favorite songs. We were so close that we even had a shared tune – “You Are My Sunshine” – which, appropriately enough, was written by former Louisiana governor Jimmie Davis.

Of course, I could easily fill a hundred posts with all the adventures I had with my grandparents as a child. But, for now, I'll just say that, while losing each of them has been devastating to me – especially given my atheistic belief that I'll never see them again – I realize how fortunate I am to have known, loved, and been loved by them. And, though their absence saddens me and sharply reminds me of my own mortality, I'm grateful that they were such an important part of my life – and I know without a doubt that they'll always be a part of me.