There was a little boy who loved to play in the dirt, build forts and ride bikes. His imagination was his constant companion.
One afternoon he went to find his friend who lived down the street in hopes that they could play catch. When he arrived at his friend’s red brick home he saw a new car in the driveway. He rang the door bell and learned that his friend couldn’t play because his grandparents were visiting.
Disappointed he slowly rode his bike home. He walked in the living room with a frown on his face and his mother asked him what was wrong.
Looking down he asked, why doesn’t grandma and grandpa ever come to visit me?
His mom never liked talking about the subject. She gathered her son into her chest and hugged him explaining that they lived far away and that it was expensive to visit. But my friend has grandparents that live far away and they still visit him, he replied. Hoping to distract him, his mother smiled and asked, what do you say we go get an ice-cream?
Her son smiled and said, bubble gum?!
At school plays, baseball games and birthday parties other kids had their grandma and grandpa there, but this little boy never saw his once in his whole life. The days turned into weeks and weeks flowed into years and this little boy was all grown up. He finished school and became a teacher.
One day he met a girl.
He wanted to spend his whole life with this girl. She made him smile and cooked him good tasting food. They had fun together and he knew he couldn’t live without her. The only problem was his mom thought he was moving too fast. She knew he had a big heart and she was worried that he might be making a mistake.
They decided to elope and in a small chapel the minister pronounced them husband and wife.
This angered his mother and she wanted nothing to do with his new wife or life. The time between visits increased and conversations became few and far between. And before you knew it, they didn’t speak at all.
When he found out his new bride was pregnant he wanted to share the exciting news with everyone. He was going to be a dad! With the passing of each day the birth of his son was drawing near. He painted the baby’s room, put together a crib and counted down the days.
It was a day he would never forget. His son was put in his arms and he felt more love than he had in his entire life. He kissed his wife and thanked her for this gift.
He looked down at his phone but there was no call from his parents.
This new little boy grew bigger by the day and soon he was playing t-ball. At the first game his parents proudly cheered from the stands. After the game one of his teammates invited him to go eat pizza with his grandparents. After he ate all the pizza and soda his tummy could hold his friend’s grandparents dropped him off at home.
He walked into the kitchen and asked his mom, why didn’t grandma and grandpa come to my game?
His mom unsure of what to say, picked her son up and sat him on the counter. She hugged him into her chest and said, how about we watch a movie tonight?
Her son smiled and said, Superman?!
There were science fairs, football games and 6th grade graduation but his grandparents never showed up to any of it. He wondered if his grandparents didn’t like him or if even knew about him.
One day after his 12th birthday he promised himself, when I become a grandpa, I will be the best grandpa ever!
The days turned into weeks and the weeks rolled into years and one day just after he finished college he received a phone call that his grandmother was very sick. He didn’t know what to do. He had never met her but he had always wanted to. Unsure if he would get a second chance, he got in his car and drove to the hospital.
Walking into her room he found an old woman with deep lines around her eyes. She smiled and outstretched her hand toward him. He sat beside her bed staring off into space. Neither one knew where to start but the young man finally broke the silence.
Why did you never come to any of my birthdays? Or football games? Was it because you didn’t like me? Was it because I didn’t get to play a lot?
A hot tear ran down the side of the grandmother’s cheek and she shook her head no. After a couple of moments she managed to say, it didn’t have anything to do with you. But it did – it affected me, he replied, half frustrated, half relieved.
I don’t remember exactly what your father and I were fighting about, but it seemed very important at the time.
He buried his face in his hands. They sat quietly for a few more minutes and then the nurse brought in her dinner. He excused himself and headed home. Three days later his grandmother passed away.
He didn’t go to her funeral but he once again promised himself that when he became a grandpa he’d take his grandkids fishing on Fridays, make Mississippi mud pies and celebrate every birthday together.
The years flew by and before he knew it he was sitting in the hospital waiting room where his first grandson would soon be born. He held his tiny body in his weathered arms and tears flowed down his cheeks. He smiled at his son and daughter-in-law and thanked them for this gift.
He whispered in his grandson’s ear the big plans he had for them.
Every Friday they went fishing and every birthday grandpa made a gift more wonderful than the last.
One day in the first grade the teacher asked every child to share what they would like to be when they grow up. They had to draw a picture and tell all they could about the profession. On the big day, this little boy went to the front of the room, held up a picture of him and his grandpa and said,
I want to be my grandpa when I grow up!
Hungry for More, Monique Alvarez *Have you downloaded my free ebook, The Hungry Soul’s Manifesto? It’s all about remembering what’s important in life – creating purpose and passion, instead of just passing the time amassing stuff. p.s. If there are typos, spelling or grammar mistakes in this post don’t worry about. Those are the kinds of things I’ve worried about for FAR too long. It’s time to just get it out and who cares if it’s not perfect, it’s from the heart!