It is close to a year since my grandfather died. I miss him terribly. There have been so many times when I started to call him or wished that I could ask his advice about something. I always knew that the day would come when those things would be impossible, but I never quite believed it would happen.
But it did.
And then today a comment my daughter made really hit me hard. We were over at my parent’s house looking at old family photos when we came across one of my favorite pictures. It features four generations of the men in my family.
It is me, my father, grandfather and great-grandfather. My daughter couldn’t quite grasp that the two year-old boy in the photo was her daddy. She kept pointing to the various people and asking their names, so I kept telling her.
Eventually she looked at me and said “Grandpa died, but I can’t remember grandpa.”
I won’t lie. That one hurt. It is not her fault. She didn’t mean to upset me. I cannot and do not blame her. It is not like he didn’t know her. He did. There are plenty of pictures of the two of them, but that is not the point.
My grandfather and I were very close. It is hard to reconcile that my children won’t have the benefit of learning from him the way that I did. He was a big part of my life and in many ways you could say that his influence upon me will affect them.
But it is not quite the same. I didn’t live his life. I can tell the stories but they’ll lack some of the conviction that he brought to them. I’ll do my best to make sure that he is more than just a name, but that doesn’t change the fact that he is gone.
My daughter doesn’t remember grandpa, but I miss him every day.