For about 20 years, my grandfather and I have gone on thousands of supermarket trips. It’s kind of been our special thing throughout our relationship. One store in particular, (Sack ‘N Save) used to be our go-to place for food adventures. The routine was always the same: He’d grab a buggy and I’d tag alongside him—excited as ever to be his partner in crime. He would then spot the fruit section (our favorite place) but soon struggle with opening one of the thin plastic bags. His hands were so huge to me in those days. They were also pretty dry because he’d been a diabetic since the age of five. After struggling for a bit, he would lovingly ask for my assistance as only he could:
“Mudduck, could you open this for me,” he’d ask.
“I know you’ll figure it out.”
My smile would sometimes resemble a big, bright building with missing windows. I was always so eager to help. Once the task was completed, a kiss on the cheek (with a brush from his scruffy mustache that tickled at times) symbolized my reward. We would then continue through the rest of the store as he recalled countless stories of his childhood. He was a truck driver, so there were times I didn’t see him as often as I would’ve liked. These moments, however, would forever be engraved into my heart. I remember them whenever we have a disagreement (which is about as frequent as breathing now that I’m home from college).
See, my grandfather has been one of the most consistent father-figures in my life. I do not have your typical father-daughter connection with my biological dad. Thankfully, this has only made the bond between ‘Papa’ and I much more valuable. Now I obviously don’t mean monetary significance. It’s just that as I’ve gotten older and watched the grandparents of my peers leave earth—a lot of things have been put into perspective.
We should learn to cherish those who’ve gone the distance before us. Their bodies may move slow now, but their wisdom can travel through light-years. Grandparents are national treasures who should be handled with love and care at all times. There are moments when we are too overwhelmed with our busy lives to truly understand the importance of time. It waits for no man or woman; so one day you may put off seeing grandma and/or grandpa again but look up to realize that they’re no longer here…
If you are of the fortunate few who still have grandparents—go hug or call them. Despite any redundancy in their speech, don’t forget to listen. Allow the wisdom to settle in and guide you.