I try to live my life with no regrets.  I try every day to make choices of which I can be proud and which will be the best choice in the long run.  Sometimes, I fail.

Maybe a decade ago, my paternal grandfather died, but I didn’t mourn him.  This saddened me.  I lived a few miles from him, but I never took the time to get to know him.  I was disappointed in myself that I couldn’t be sad that I had lost him, so I vowed to get to know my other grandparents before their passing.

I got to know my maternal grandparents very well.  I mourned both of them at their passing.

Grandma taught me how to make candies.  I now make Frangos better than Macy’s.  She also taught me how to crochet, which I’ve used professionally.  In the process of spending time with her, I got to learn her feisty, strong-willed personality.  She had a sense of humor and an impish streak which never failed to amuse me.  One of my fondest memories is when she came in one Saturday morning to the room in which I comfortably sat, watching cartoons.  She physically hoisted me up and forced me to dance with her to the music which was blaring from the TV show in the living room.

Grandpa was full of stories.  The quiet, man (whom I had always thought of as timid and meek until I listened to his stories) had lived an amazing life.  There was a sort of glow about him when he told about the things he had done.  He played basketball with the Harlem Globetrotters, he helped start the Fire Station in Renton (he liked his “Bucket Brigade” story) and many other amazing feats.  He was amazing while working with wood – making beautiful pieces which I would consider art.  He was a good man, and I’m lucky that I got to know him.

I still haven’t taken the time to get to know my paternal grandmother.  In truth, I tried, but I was blocked.  Her son lives with her, as did his wife.  Whenever I called to try to schedule a time to visit her, he told me it wasn’t a good time.  His wife was battling some horrid disease, and they didn’t want visitors on her bad days, which I could understand.

Why did this all come up for me?  Because my aunt passed away early this morning.  This caused a number of mixed emotions in me.  I’m sad that I never got to know her.  Again, she lived only a few miles from me, but I never took the time to get to know her. 

And then a worse feeling – relief.  Now that she’s gone, there is no reason for my uncle to continue blocking me from my grandmother.  Because of this sad event in his life, I can now have an opportunity to get to know my grandmother.

And then I feel guilty and selfish for feeling almost glad she’s gone.

All in all, I think the feelings I’m experiencing are normal.  Now, I just need to figure out how long to wait after her death before I go see Grandma.  I don’t want to rush it, nor do I want to wait so long that we lose Grandma during the wait.  That would just cause resentment.

Argh!  That family is so complicated!  No wonder I have such a hard time dealing with them!


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