The third installment of our Grandparent Week series, this essay was sent in by
Readeo user Timothy S.:
Grandpa knew his grandchildren, all 12 of them better than nearly anyone. Certainly better than we knew ourselves, possibly even better than our own parents. He had a special gift. He knew us on the inside- what we liked, what we didn’t, what we wanted and what we were afraid of.
I was six or so when a storm one night bore down on our home in Florida near Ft. Meyers. The clouds poured rain and the thunder was close enough to rattle the picture hanging on the wall by my bed.
Most parents,( or in this case, grandparents) would come in to check on a child. If the child were crying, the parent might do one of two things: tell them to toughen up; or take them into a room more isolated from the storm.
Grandpa did something different. He quietly opened the door and pulled a chair next to my bed where he told me about the storms he played in as a kid, and later how the heaviest rain he ever saw fell as he waited on a battlefield in Germany.
He didn’t just talk, he listened, too. He asked me what it was about the storm that scared me. A funny question, I thought. But as I talked about the “scary parts” of a storm, we realized together that it wasn’t the lightning, the thunder, or the sound of the rain on the roof that really scared me. It was the whipping shadows of the trees on my wall that looked like monsters and made my heart race.
He stayed by my bed long after the conversation died down. The storm might have gone as well, I only remember that I fell asleep with Grandpa by my side.
Looking back some thirty-five years, I realize my grandpa was actually teaching me that night. Important lessons – that fear comes from the unknown and dissipates through the light of knowledge. That rather than remove you from scary situations, or solve your problems, real friends will be there to walk you through them. That my grandpa loved me.
And that a good grandparent will always be there for you. Happy grandparents day, Grandpa. I love you, too.
If you missed the other installments of our Grandparents Week series, check out our Introduction, read Fun Facts About Grandparents Day, read Why I Love Being A Grammie , and catch up on Our Favorite Grandparent Jokes.